Etihad seeks $600M to finance new aircraft

Oliver Holzbauer

After canceling orders of dozens of planes, Etihad Airways is now reportedly looking to raise $600 million to help finance the remainings of its orders.

Etihad Airways is seeking a $600 million loan to help finance aircraft orders, Bloomberg reported on April 7, 2019. According to the publication, the Abu Dhabi based carrier is reaching out to banks to help make initial payments for new aircraft.

This is not the first time Etihad is believed to be seeking financial help with its aircraft orders. In June 2018, Reuters reported that the carrier was sending requests to banks to secure its Boeing orders worth $1 billion.

Etihad Airways has previously trimmed off its seizable aircraft orders, but even after cancellations, it still holds orders for 86 to 113 new aircraft, Boeing and Airbus books show.

The Gulf carrier has 46 aircraft on order with Airbus, as of March 2019. 40 Airbus A350-900s and 2 A350-1000s previously ordered by the airline were removed from the European manufacturer order log in February 2019, keeping only 20 Airbus A350-1000s and 26 A321neos.

With Boeing, the carrier had agreements for a total of 67 aircraft through February 2019. However, these 67 aircraft include 25 777Xs. Etihad placed this order back in November 2013, but later, in June 2018, news emerged that it was looking to cancel it in total or in part.

Etihad is also still taking deliveries of its two Boeing 787 orders. In total, they expect a total of 120 aircraft of 787-9 and 787-10 variations. The airline has so far received 53, leaving more than half of these orders unfilled.

The 787-9 order was placed in 2008 for a total of 41 aircraft. So far, 24 planes were delivered, leaving 17 in the manufacturer’s backlog. In 2013, Etihad also placed an order for 30 787-10 aircraft, of which it has so far received 5.

For the past three years, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has been posting billions in losses, that have accumulated to $4.67 billion so far. In 2018, the airline lost $1.28 billion, shows its financial report published on March 14, 2019. The latest results are better than the year before when the carrier lost $1.52 billion and its operational performance improved by 15% against 7% in 2017.

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