In its meeting today, the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) Board of Directors, consisting of representatives of the 28 EU Member States, decided to approve a loan request filed by KLM Cityhopper for an amount of up to EUR 250 million. The EIB and KLM N.V. are in contract negotiations for the financing of the KLM Cityhopper regional fleet renewal programme, which are expected to close in the coming weeks. An initial tranche of the financing would be arranged through Crédit Agricole.
The fleet renewal programme of KLM Cityhopper covers the replacement of the Fokker 70 with Embraer 175/190s. These Embraer 175/190s are considerably more fuel efficient compared to the Fokker 70, thereby making them more environmentally friendly. The new aircraft will support KLM Cityhopper in operating internal EU regional services as cost and environmentally efficient as possible while contributing to improved accessibility to Europe’s regions.
KLM Cityhopper is very pleased that we can become one of the first airlines in Europe to close a transaction with the EIB since 2009. We are happy that the EIB recognises the role of KLM Cityhopper within the EU in terms environmental responsibility and the connectivity it delivers day in day out for the vital cities and communities of the European region. It is a massive achievement for the entire team at KLM Cityhopper.
This decision is a confirmation of the very good relationship that KLM and the EIB have built since the eighties. We are also grateful that Crédit Agricole has stepped forward to join in this innovative transaction. It further diversifies our sources of financing and secures access to funding for the future.
The approval by the EIB’s Board of Directors means that, pending the contract negotiations, a loan agreement could be signed very soon. The new aircraft are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than the aircraft being replaced, thus justifying the EIB’s potential financing of the project. Regional connectivity is of major importance to the European economy, and as the EU Bank the EIB stands ready to finance transportation projects where it contributes to these goals, especially when we can partner up with other financiers to close a financing gap.
Credit Agricole CIB is very pleased to support KLM/KLC in the financing of the renewal of its regional fleet. Thanks to a good understanding of all parties’ requirements, we have been able to design a tailor-made financing solution.
The transaction for the first three aircraft is scheduled to be closed in the coming weeks.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2016 alone, the Bank made available EUR 2.56 bln in loans for projects with Dutch counterparts in various sectors, including SMEs, industry, transport and agriculture.
Amsterdam, 18 July 2017