The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) have signed a Master Facility Agreement providing SAS with EIB financing of up to USD 400 million (ECU 365 million) towards fleet renewal investments.

SAS is replacing part of its short- and medium-haul fleet primarily used for intra-European flights through the acquisition of 55 Boeing B737-600/700/800 aircraft, ordered in 1995, to replace Douglas DC9 and Fokker F28 aircraft.

The delivery of the new aircraft will be completed by 2002.

The investment meets the EU's and the EIB's objective to improve European transport infrastructure and to enhance the competitiveness of the airline industry, says Vice President Claes de Neergaard.

The EIB has financed investments within the European air transport sector - air fleet and airports- up to some ECU 6 billion.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the financial institution of the EU, contributes by means of long-term loans towards the integration and balanced development of its member countries and countries outside the Union.