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U.S. EXIM Bank board backs $811 million loan guarantee to aid Boeing jet sale

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The P-8 production line is pictured at Boeing's 737 factory in Renton
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) on Friday said its board of directors approved an $811 million loan guarantee to help finance the sale of Boeing wide-body aircraft to French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM SA.

EXIM said in a statement that the loan guarantee would support aircraft assembled at Boeing's Everett, Washington, and North Charleston, South Carolina, factories, which produce 787 jetliners. It did not specify the number of aircraft involved, but KLM had ordered some 15 787-10 aircraft and began to take delivery of them in 2019.

Since then, Boeing experienced severe delays in 787 Dreamliner deliveries because of production flaws and has advised airlines and suppliers that deliveries would resume in the second half of 2022, but is still awaiting regulatory approvals.

EXIM said in a statement that the loan guarantee would support hundreds of small and medium-sized business suppliers and about 4,500 jobs in the United States.

"This transaction also helps a sector critical to U.S. economic security rebound from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," it said.

A Boeing spokesperson could not immediately be reached.

Boeing in December lost a major Air France-KLM order for 100 new narrow body jets to arch rival Airbus.

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)