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Emirates: $55bn aircraft funding “not a problem”

Airline expects “solid results” for 2009, says it has attractive options to finance purchase of planes currently on order.

February 2, 2010 10:45 by

Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates says that it expects “solid” financial results for 2009, and claims that it has “attractive” options to finance the purchase of aircraft it currently has on order.

According to a Reuters report, the airline currently has $55 billion of orders with Boeing and Airbus – including the A380 ‘superjumbo’ – and it expects to take delivery of 11 aircraft this year.

“We are getting very attractive financing opportunities with the credit export agencies that guarantee the debt and the margin we achieve on that makes it very competitive,” Gary Chapman, president of Emirates Group Services and Dnata, was quoted by the news agency as saying.

The news comes as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it expects the global airline industry to take at least three years to recover from a travel slump. Giovanni Bisignani, CEO of the trade body, told Bloomberg that the industry lost $50bn in the past 10 years, of which $11bn was in 2009 alone. Revenues declined by $80bn last year, IATA said.

However, IATA figures released last week showed that Middle Eastern airlines saw passenger demand climb 11.3 percent in 2009, the only area in the world to report significant growth.

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