Emirates Airline arranges Dh1bn aircraft financing deal with FGB

Similar agreement made by Air Arabia and Dubai Islamic Bank, with the unveiling of a $230 million deal to finance six aircraft it is receiving in 2015.
Emirates 100th 777-300ER which it received in October. Courtesy Boeing
Emirates 100th 777-300ER which it received in October. Courtesy Boeing

Emirates Airline has finalised a Dh1.1 billion club finance lease funding package with FGB for the acquisition of two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the Abu Dhabi-based bank announced.

FGB led and executed the financing deal as obligor and facility agent, its second lead mandate role for the airline in recent months, and provided Dh 918 million in funding for the transaction.

The aircraft were delivered in September and October, the latter being the airline’s 100th Boeing 777-300ER.

“We’re pleased to have been a part of this important milestone for Emirates, and we’re keen to continue working with the airline in the future, to support its funding plans and continued growth,” said André Sayegh, FGB’s chief executive.

News of the financing arrangement coincided with an announcement of a similar agreement made by Air Arabia and Dubai Islamic Bank, with the unveiling of a $230 million deal to finance six aircraft it is receiving in 2015.

The Ijara facility will finance the delivery of a new A320 aircraft every two months commencing in January 2015, the Sharjah-based airline announced. The programme will culminate with the last of the six aircraft being handed over by the end of the year.

“Next year Dubai Islamic Bank will finance all the aircraft that we will receive,” said Adel Ali, the chief executive of the region’s largest low-cost carrier.

Mr Ali said that the time frame for the loan was 12 years.

Air Arabia has currently received 29 of the 44 A320 aircraft it ordered from Airbus in 2007.

“Going for a UAE bank is our preference,” said Mr Ali. “They were good in fulfilling our needs. We used to go for international banks for financing. Now we find that the local banks in the GCC have a lot of confidence in the financial strength of Air Arabia,” he added.

Air Arabia, the only listed aviation company in the Gulf region, reported earlier this month a 22 per cent rise in its third-quarter profit on higher passengers numbers. Net profit attributable to owners of the company increased to Dh247.4 million for the period ended September 30, up from Dh202.7m a year earlier. Turnover increased 25 per cent to Dh1.06 billion in the third quarter compared with Dh854m last year.

Air Arabia this year opened its second hub in the UAE and fourth worldwide at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. The carrier has hubs in Sharjah, Egypt and Morocco.

jeverington@thenational.ae

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Published: November 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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