Sharjah: Air Arabia said on Monday it has signed a $350 million financing deal from a syndicate of two GCC banks — Qatar National Bank (QNB Group) and Commercial Bank International (CBI).
The financing deal is aimed at funding the acquisition of 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft, which form a part of a larger order for 44 A320s Air Arabia placed with Airbus in 2007, the Sharjah-based budget carrier said in a statement.
The move comes shortly after the largest LCC (low cost carrier) in the Middle East reportedly said earlier this month it plans to raise $400 million to $450 million in bank loans to finance aircraft purchases.
“We will be getting deliveries till the end of 2015,” Air Arabia’s Chief Executive Officer, Adel Ali, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg, adding that the carrier will need planes to expand besides needing replacement airplanes for the ones that have been in service for three years.
Air Arabia reported its first quarter results on May 13 saying net profit for the quarter jumped 20 per cent to Dh59 million over the corresponding quarter in 2012, on higher passenger numbers and new route launches.
The Sharjah-based budget airline carried 1.4 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 18 per cent over the same period last year.