(DENNIS B MALLARI)
Mashreqbank, HSH Nordbank and Mizuho Corporate Bank have underwritten a $253 million (Dh929m) lease finance for Emirates.
The Dubai-based airline has concluded the 12-year financing with investors for the delivery of two Boeing 777 aircraft.
The planes, one Boeing 777–200LR and one Boeing 777–300ER, were both delivered in January 2008.
HSH Nordbank also acted as facility and security agent for the lenders, the airline said in a statement.
“This group of banks was mandated not only on the basis of attractive pricing, but also because we had confidence in them to close the deal in a tight timeframe,” said Brian Jeffery, Emirates’ Senior Vice-President for Corporate Treasury.
“All have become significant relationship banks for us over the past few years, and we particularly appreciate the invaluable experience and commitment of HSH Nordbank in arranging this transaction.
“The finance lease structure is simple yet flexible enough for our operational requirements and is in line with our policy of using diversified funding sources,” Jeffery added.
Both the aircraft would be deployed on the ultra long-haul services of Emirates such as to Houston in the United States and São Paulo in Brazil, the airline said.
The statement said the carrier introduced daily services to Houston from February 1 this year, after the launch of three-a-week services in December last year.
Emirates had also secured $239m financing in October last year for two Boeing 777-200LRs. These planes, which are said to be the world’s longest-range aircraft in commercial service, were delivered to the airline in August and September last year.
That deal was arranged and funded by BNP Paribas and its leasing subsidiary Capstar Partners.
Operating one of the largest 777 fleets in commercial aviation, Emirates has 53 Boeing 777s yet to be delivered. These comprise six 777-200LRs, eight 777– 200LR freighters and 39 777-300ER aircraft.
Following the October deal, Emirates airline raised another $297m in December 2007 for financing two Boeing aircraft in a German operating lease structure arranged by Doric Asset Finance & Verwaltungs.
Powered by renowned General Electric GE90 series engines, one Boeing 777–200LR was delivered in November 2007 and the other, a Boeing 777–300ER, in December 2007.
According to Emirates, the transactions involved a long-term operating lease for a period of 10 years with extension options.
Financing was arranged by Doric Asset Finance and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, in co-operation with Dr Peters Group.
The carrier today operates an all wide-bodied fleet of 115 aircraft to 99 destinations in 62 countries.
In a recent interview with Emirates Business, Emirates’ Executive Vice-Chairman Maurice Falanagan said the airline is growing at about 20 per cent a year. The carrier should pass the 200-aircraft mark by 2012.
“I see Emirates becoming the biggest airline in the world very soon,” he said.
Emirates $253m loan underwritten by three banks