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Mon 29 Oct 2007 09:26 AM

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NBAD finances Etihad Airbus acquisitions

National Bank of Abu Dhabi underwrites $288mn loan facility to purchase four A330-200 aircraft.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Etihad Airways have signed a US$288m agreement to finance the airline's acquisition of four new Airbus 330-200 aircraft.

NBAD will act as sole arranger for the loan facility, which is structured as a lease with repayments spread over 12 years.

The bank expects to syndicate the financing facility during the first quarter of 2008 through partnerships with local and international banks.

Michael Tomalin, chief executive of NBAD, said: "NBAD is proud for entirely underwriting in full this important transaction and playing a major role in Etihad's continued growth in fleet size, which also demonstrates strengthening of ties between the UAE's top lender and the national airline of the UAE."

James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad, added: "These are exciting times for Etihad as the airline continues to grow and establish itself on the global stage. It is extremely gratifying that a leading bank such as NBAD shares our vision and we very much value and recognise the considerable support it is providing in underpinning our development and future success."

All four aircraft have been received by Etihad and are in service. The first of the four A330-200 aircraft was delivered by Airbus in June 2007, followed by the second and third aircraft in September and the fourth in mid-October.

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