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July 19, 2007

Philippine Air gets loans from Credit Agricole, KfW
Philippine Airlines Inc (PAL) said on July 19 French and German lenders have agreed to finance its purchase of two new Airbus A320 jets - the airline's first loan package in 10 years.

PAL, which is under a 10-year rehabilitation programme after labour problems caused its near collapse in 1998, said in a statement the financing package included 12-year commercial loan agreements. It did not state the value of the loans.

Calyon Credit Agricole CIB -- a unit of France's biggest retail bank Credit Agricole- and KfW-IBEX arranged the structured lease and provided the loans for the jet purchases, the airline said.

Calyon and KfW both helped finance PAL's fleet renewal programme before the airline suffered debt and labour problems in 1998. PAL has orders for seven more A320 jets, and has leased two A320 jets and four A319s. It has options for five more A320s.

The airline already received six jets, with a seventh aircraft to be delivered on Friday. Three more jets are set to arrive later in the year while five are due to be delivered next year.

It has also signed a deal to acquire six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for its long-haul operations by 2009.

The airline has had three straight years of profits to fiscal year ending March 2007 after an erratic financial performance since 1999 when debt restructuring began and despite an environment of rising fuel costs. Reuters


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