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UAE's FlyDubai Secures $320 Million GE Financing - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates low-cost carrier FlyDubai said on Wednesday it had secured $320 million financing with General Electric for four Boeing 737 aircraft to be delivered this year.

The sale and lease back agreement with GE’s Capital Aviation Services unit covers two aircraft due for delivery in July, one in October and one in December, a statement said.

FlyDubai, which currently has only two aircraft, said this was the first financing it had secured from outside the United Arab Emirates.

Gulf Arab airlines have been buying billions of dollars worth of aircraft, banking on their geographical position amidst Europe, East Asia and Africa to trumpet the region as a hub for international passenger traffic and to serve a large expatriate population.

The airline competes with Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways, which until recently also operated out of Dubai.

Airlines have benefited from a more than 50 percent decline in oil prices since it hit an all-time high of $147 in July last year.

FlyDubai executives said the GE deal secured their financing needs for 2009.

“We don’t have to make any decisions (on more financing) for at least six more months,” chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith told reporters.

The Dubai government-owned airline ordered 50 Boeing single-aisle 737 aircraft in a deal worth around $4 billion and four from leasing company Babcock & Brown in November.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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