Air Arabia Signs $350m Financing Deal With Gulf Banks

Deal with Qatar National Bank S.A.Q. and Commercial Bank International covers part of a larger order for 44 A320s placed with Airbus in 2007

Air Arabia has signed a $350 million finance deal with two GCC banks to support the purchase of 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft.

The low-cost carrier signed the deal with senior representatives of Qatar National Bank S.A.Q. and UAE bank Commercial Bank International.

The financing facility is part of a larger order for 44 A320s placed with Airbus in 2007. The airline will receive four more A320 aircraft this year.

The first budget airline to launch in the Gulf 10 years ago, Air Arabia has maintained strong growth despite volatile fuel prices, the economic downturn and emergence of competitors such as flydubai.

The airline posted a net profit of Dhs59 million for the three months ending March 31, exceeding analysts’ forecasts.

It carried 1.4 million passengers in the first quarter, the highest number since its inception in 2003, with passenger traffic up 18 per cent.