Cairo-based start-up airline Nile Air said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy nine Airbus A321 aircraft to help develop its fleet. The airline, which expects to begin operations in the first quarter of 2008, will receive first delivery of the planes by 2012, Chairman Nasser Al-Tayyar told reporters at the Dubai air show. The value of the deal would be about $792 million according to current list prices.
Al-Tayyar said the firm would raise the bulk of the money for plane purchases through Islamic bank loans. Nile Air, which is owned by Saudi Arabia's largest travel services firm Al-Tayyar Travel Group, is in talks to lease three A321 aircraft in the interim.
Nile Air, based in Egypt, will initially launch flights to Saudi Arabia before beginning services to other Gulf destinations, Al-Tayyar said. The airline also plans to sell 30% of its shares to the public in an initial public offering. "We will list the shares on the Cairo bourse in the next year," Al-Tayyar told reporters. (Reuters)
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