Investec Aviation Finance has agreed to provide EUR60 million euro (USD64.3 million) in financing to Challenge Group for the acquisition and conversion of four B767-300ERs.

"This conversion programme is the keystone in Challenge Group's expansion strategy as it allows it to increase its current fleet of eight widebody freighters. This was no straightforward financing deal. But thanks to strong cooperation and out-of-the-box thinking, we were able to solve some of the complicated issues that popped up along the way," Chief Investment Officer Michael Koish said.

The capital will be jointly underwritten by Investec's British and South African funds. Without disclosing the terms, Investec Aviation Finance said it would come as an "innovative financing package".

Challenge Group operates three airlines (Challenge Airlines BE, Challenge Airlines IL, and Challenge Airlines MT), as well as a cargo terminal at Liège. The group's fleet comprises one B747-400(BCF), two B747-400ERFs, and one B747-400FSCD. The group signed an MoU with Israel Aerospace Industries for four B767-300ER(BDSF)s in late 2021. It has so far taken a single B767-300ER, currently placed on the Maltese AOC, which will undergo P2F conversion at IAI's new facility at Belgrade airport. Another B767 is undergoing conversion at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. The carrier confirmed that two of the four B767s will be placed on the Belgian AOC.