The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $75.7 million loan guarantee for Lider Taxi Aereo S.A.--Air Brasil that will support the export of three Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation S-92 helicopters (similar aircraft pictured) to Brazil. Ex-Im Bank 's support enabled Sikorsky to win the order in competition with government-backed European competitors and will sustain approximately 500 jobs at the company's facilities in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Likewise, the loan guarantee has proved to be an invaluable resource for Lider Taxi, which had insufficient access to financing on acceptable terms to purchase the helicopters. "The financing support for these helicopters illustrates the unique ability of Ex-Im Bank to provide essential financing to ensure American exporters can compete in the international marketplace," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "Our support leveled the playing field and kept 500 highly-skilled American workers on the job."
The S-92 is Sikorsky's heavy-mission helicopter designed for offshore transport, medical emergencies, and search-and-rescue missions. "The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. often plays a vital role in the sale of Sikorsky commercial helicopters to the offshore oil and gas industry worldwide," said Bob Kokorda, Sikorsky vice president for sales and marketing. "These three S-92 helicopters will enable Lider Taxi to fly Brazilian workers to offshore rigs in deeper water farther from shore. And they will help maintain a healthy U.S.-based supply chain for the aircraft while sustaining a highly skilled workforce at our helicopter manufacturing facilities in the United States."
Lider Taxi, established in 1958 and the largest air taxi company in Brazil, plans to use the helicopters to shuttle personnel and equipment to offshore oil platforms. The transaction is the sixth Ex-Im Bank has approved since 2004 with the Belo Horizonte-based company.
Brazil is one of Ex-Im Bank's nine key markets and accounted for $2.7 billion of the Bank's worldwide credit exposure at the end of FY 2011.