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Tue 24 Sep 2013 03:19 PM

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Emirates says may issue bonds to fund new aircraft

Top official says airline is planning to raise $4.5bn for 21 new planes during 2014 financial year

Emirates says may issue bonds to fund new aircraft

Emirates, Dubai's flagship airline, may issue bonds early next year to help
raise $4.5 billion for 21 new plane deliveries in the financial year starting
April 2014, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

Brian Jeffery, senior vice president for corporate treasury at the airline,
said an Islamic or conventional bond issue might happen as early as January or
February next year if market conditions were feasible.

"We have pretty much the same strategy for the next financial year as this
year. It's going to be a diversified structure," Brian Jeffery, senior vice
president for corporate treasury at Emirates said in an interview.

It has to raise $22 billion over the next four years to finance its aircraft
deliveries, an average of $5.5 billion a year.

Emirates, one of the world's fastest-growing airlines, has been diversifying
its funding to expand its fleet to compete with regional peers such as Etihad
Airways and Qatar Airways.

The airline has witnessed rapid growth as passenger traffic at its home base
in Dubai surges on the back of an economic recovery. Dubai has one of the
busiest airports in the world with over 32 million passengers passing through it
in the first half of 2013, up 17 percent year-on-year.

Emirates is looking at various financing options to raise the money it needs,
including bond issues, operating leases, U.S export credit facilities and
financing leases, Jeffrey said.

Any bond sale was likely to happen after the airline reports its half-year
results in November, he said.

Financing for aircraft deliveries in the current financial year is almost
complete, with the airline securing funds for 21 of 25 aircraft deliveries,
Jeffery said.

Emirates has sold two bonds this year - a $1 billion sukuk in March and a
$750 million bond in January.

With the largest fleet of the Airbus A380 superjumbos, the Gulf carrier is
attracting more long haul travellers.

Emirates' President Tim Clark has said the airline plans to replace a large
chunk of its Boeing 777 aircraft with the 777X, the new model launched by the
planemaker. A new order is expected at the Dubai Air Show in November.

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