Emirates has signed a Euro 91 million (USD $111 million) financing agreement for a new Airbus A340-500 aircraft. This is the second aircraft entirely structured and funded by the two local banks, National Bank of Dubai (NBD) and Emirates Bank Group (EBG), signalling a strong vote of confidence in Emirates.
Dermot Mannion, President Group Support Services, said: “The UAE’s banking industry has been developing and maturing rapidly, along with the growth of the country’s economy. It increasingly offers a range of financial products that fit our needs. Emirates is happy to work with NBD and EBG to take advantage of the instruments they made available to us, to support our continued expansion.”
The financing is for Emirates’ latest A340-500, the world’s longest-range aircraft, to be delivered before the end of July. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 series engines, it will be the sixth of a total of 10 Airbus A340-500s for which Emirates has placed firm orders.
The financing, structured as a Euro operating lease over a 12-year term, was arranged and funded fully by NBD and EBG. The weighted average cost of funds was 0.9 per cent over six-month Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate).
Riyaz Peermohamed, Emirates’ Senior Vice President - Corporate Treasury, said: “We continue to follow a balanced portfolio approach towards hedging our currency risks. This is the sixth aircraft to be financed in Euros. The Euro lease rentals will create a natural hedge to some of our inflows from Europe.”
Emirates, the award-winning Dubai-based international airline, already has 69 Boeing and Airbus jets, including 29 Airbus A330-200s, 12 Boeing 777-300s, nine Boeing 777-200s, five Airbus 340-500s, eight A340-300s, one Airbus A310 and five Boeing 747 freighters.
The world’s fastest-growing intercontinental airline, Emirates flies to 77 cities in 54 countries with one of the youngest fleets in the skies. Emirates’ new services introduced in the first seven months of 2004 include: Lagos, Accra, Budapest (cargo-only), Glasgow, Vienna, Christchurch and passenger services to Shanghai and New York.
Its order book includes 45 Airbus A380-800s, 30 Boeing 777-300ERs plus nine options, four more ultra-long-range Airbus A340-500s and 20 Airbus A340-600 Higher Gross Weight aircraft, amounting to a total of USD $28 billion. By 2012 Emirates expects to have twice as many jets in its fleet as it does today.