Emirates has signed a leasing agreement with two UAE banks, National Bank of Dubai (NBD) and Emirates Bank Group (EBG), for a new Airbus A340-500 aircraft. The US $119.5 million financing is for the last of the 10 Airbus A340-500s Emirates has on firm order.
The financing, structured as an operating lease over a 12-year term, carries a weighted average cost of funds 0.9 per cent over six-month Libor (London Inter Bank Offered Rate).
Riyaz Peermohamed, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Corporate Treasury, said: “This completes the financing of the A340-500 programme, which raised USD $1.1 billion for Emirates over the last two years. The attractive financing came from well diversified sources with 29 per cent from European banks with export credit support, 10 per cent from Islamic sources, 24 per cent from commercial banks within the GCC and 37 per cent from commercial banks outside the GCC - a substantial portion of which came from banks in Japan and China."
Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, currently has 80 aircraft, including 29 Airbus A330-200s, 12 Boeing 777-300s, nine Boeing 777-200s, nine Airbus 340-500s, eight A340-300s, five Boeing 777-300ERs, one Airbus A310, one Airbus A310F and six Boeing 747 freighters.
Emirates flies to over 75 cities in 55 countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific. Since January 2005 the airline has launched services to a number of new destinations, including the Seychelles, Seoul and Alexandria so far this year.
In order to meet its aggressive growth targets, the airline has been adding capacity at rates seldom seen in commercial aviation in recent times – 30 per cent in the past year alone – and expanding its fleet at an average rate of one new wide-body aircraft per month.
Its order book currently includes 45 Airbus A380-800s (including two A380Fs), 25 Boeing 777-300ERs plus nine options, one Airbus A340-500 (the aircraft being financed), two A310-300Fs and 20 Airbus A340-600 Higher Gross Weight aircraft. By 2012 Emirates expects to have nearly twice as many jets in its fleet as it does today.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )