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U.S. court lets stand Ex-Im Bank loan for Air India

An Air India Airlines Boeing 787 dreamliner takes part in a flying display during the 50th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Par
An Air India Airlines Boeing 787 dreamliner takes part in a flying display during the 50th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Par

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday let stand a decision by the U.S. Export-Import Bank to finance the sale of 30 Boeing wide-body jets to Air India in a legal challenge brought by Delta Air Lines .

"I am gratified by the court's recognition that these transactions should not be impeded by litigation," Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank, said in a statement after the ruling.

However, the court directed the government-run bank to better explain its rationale for the loans, which Delta claimed as a victory in its long-running spat with Ex-Im Bank.

"The Bank now will be required to take the complaints of industry participants seriously before proceeding with potentially harmful subsidies to foreign airlines," Delta said in a statement

Delta alleged in its suit that Ex-Im had failed to consider the economic impact of its loan guarantees. It initially sought to stop $3.4 billion in preliminary and final Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees to help India acquire the aircraft.

The Atlantic-based carrier says it is hurt by Ex-Im Bank programs that allow foreign carriers to buy Boeing jets on easier credit terms than it can get.

The appeals court said it was directing Ex-Im Bank to better explain its decision for the loans "without vacating any of the Bank's actions in this matter to date."

But it added: "The Bank's actions on remand of course will be subject to later judicial review if an aggrieved party wishes to challenge the Bank's actions as unlawful."

(Reporting by Doug Palmer and Karen Jacobs; Editing by Will Dunham, Bernard Orr)

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