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AVIANCA DREAMLINERS
 


Avianca to buy 10 Boeing Dreamliners

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

March 31, 2007: Dreamliners have become a fad and more airline companies are queuing up to own one. The latest in the line is Avianca, Colombia's largest airline. Avianca is owned and operated by the Synergy Group.

The Colombian major plans to spend $1.5 billion to purchase at least 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to replace its aging aircraft. The 10 Boeing Dreamliners will replace Boeing 757 and 767 airplanes. This apart, the airline firm also plans to buy another 35 aircraft with an additional investment to the tune of $1.5 billion.

With the Dreamliner buy, Avianca will become the first company in South America to operate Boeing 787s. This will happen by year 2010. A report said Avianca will operate seven of the 10 airplanes while the three remaining will be operated by Synergy Aerospace.

The report added that Avianca has acquired the purchase rights for the planes at a time to be determined in the future. It is now in talks with both Boeing and Airbus to buy the 35 additional airplanes, it is learnt. The talks with airbus are aimed at buying an indeterminate number of jets to replace 17 old McDonald Douglas MD-83s, a report added. Avianca is expected to finance the purchase of the Boeing planes partly with cash but mainly with commercial bank loans and multilateral loans. It has been made public that international commercial banks have approached the airline and proposals from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank are also being evaluated.

Significantly, Avianca was pulled out of US bankruptcy protection, back in 2004, by Brazilian company Synergy Group by the picking of a 75 per cent stake after agreeing to inject $63 million of fresh capital and assuming nearly $220 million of debt. Synergy had then bought the remaining 25% of Avianca in November 2005.

 

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