Qatar Airways gets $500m loan for three Boeing planes

Qatar Airways (QA) said yesterday it has secured a $500 million (Dh1,836m) 12-year finance lease from BNP Paribas, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe for the purchase of three Boeing 777 aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery by the year-end, the Doha-based carrier said in a statement. “The closing of this deal at a time of extreme liquidity stress in the international banking markets was a testament to close co-operation between Qatar Airways and the lending group,” it said, adding Qatar Airways is enjoying the trust of large financial institutions. “This financial arrangement shows the confidence international lenders have in Qatar Airways as an airline with a strong vision to grow its international network and strengthen its market presence,” said Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker. With Standard Chartered Bank acting as facility agent and security trustee for the deal, the financing structure ensures the deal financed – 100 per cent of the purchase cost of the aircraft – achieves a loan to aircraft value profile, which would meet the requirements of international aviation finance banks while also appealing to regional lenders, it said. Qatar Airways currently operates 64 Airbus and Boeing aircraft from its Doha hub to 83 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America. The carrier’s current order comprises orders for 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. Qatar Airways is also a customer of the superjumbo Airbus A380 with five aircraft on order, scheduled for delivery from 2012.