The Aviation Exports Policy

Historically, the Export-Import Bank has been unable to provide official export credit support for U.S. goods and services exports that were intended for use in the production, or operation, of Airbus aircraft. This restriction was instituted in 1972 when the U.S. and Europe were the only two markets with manufacturers of commercially viable large aircraft in the world. The restriction applied to inputs (e.g., engines) as well as capital goods and services (e.g., machine tools) sold directly to manufacturers of Airbus aircraft and to end-users (e.g., airlines) that intended to use the U.S. exports on Airbus aircraft (e.g., aftermarket purchases). However, in recent months, it has become clear that the landscape for large aircraft manufacturers is rapidly changing.

New, large aircraft manufacturers (i.e., Bombardier in Canada and COMAC in China) will soon commence production of large aircraft that will ultimately compete directly with Boeing and Airbus aircraft. As the launch dates for these new aircraft draw near, U.S. suppliers are seeking EXIM Bank support for sales to foreign-made large aircraft producers, as well as buyers in the aftermarket segment of the industry. Moreover, the surge in Boeing and Airbus production over the past few years has brought a new round of U.S. suppliers seeking EXIM support for sales to Airbus' airline customers. U.S. small business exporters have accounted for the bulk of all recent aircraft inquiries received by EXIM Bank. In response to requests made by US exporters, and in the spirit of expanding U.S. export opportunities, EXIM Bank announced, on May 25, 2012, an expansion of its aviation-industry export policy as it applies to large aircraft.

The new Aviation large aircraft policy:

Enables EXIM to:

  • Finance the export of U.S. produced goods and services for aftermarket (post-manufacturing) use on foreign-manufactured large aircraft for U.S. exporters of all sizes.
  • Finance the export of U.S. produced goods and services directly to large aircraft manufacturers (i.e., Airbus, Boeing, COMAC) if the U.S. exporter is an SBA defined small business.

Prohibits EXIM from:

  • Financing exports of U.S. produced goods and services directly to large aircraft manufacturers if the U.S. exporter is not an SBA defined small business. This currently applies to Airbus, Bombardier's C-Series, and COMAC's C919 aircraft.


 Aviation Large Aircraft Policy: Eligibility for EXIM Financing
 Directly to Large Aircraft Manufacturers (i.e., Airbus, Bombardier, COMAC)Aftermarket Sales (e.g., Airlines) for use in Non-U.S. Manufactured Large Aircraft
Business SizePrior to May 2012After May 2012Prior to May 2012After May 2012
Non-Small BusinessNoNoNoYes
SBA Defined Small BusinessNoYesNoYes