Emirates is in talks to raise billions of dollars in loans, in addition to the Dubai State bailout for the world’s largest long-haul airline, as the coronavirus pandemic blocks flights.
The carrier is contacting local and international banks about the funding that will be in addition to the undisclosed amount of government financial assistance, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who have asked not to be identified because the information is private.
One of the options being discussed is bilateral loans, which are cheaper, can be taken out quickly and made in smaller installments compared to syndicated facilities, residents said. No final decision on the loan has been made, they said.
A spokesperson for Dubai-owned Emirates declined to comment.
Emirates – an emblem of Dubai’s meteoric rise over the past three decades from a desert outpost to a global business and tourism hub – is particularly affected by the abrupt collapse of air transport as countries are locking in to slow the spread of the virus. The government announced last week that it would step in to protect the airline with new equity.
The airline is the largest of the major carriers in the Middle East, which also include Qatar Airways QCSC and Etihad Airways PJSC. All three are state-owned, giving them a potential advantage in securing bailouts quickly. Emirates, whose fleet consists of all wide-body aircraft, typically operates more than 500 flights per day.
The International Air Transport Association, which represents 290 airlines worldwide, estimates the industry could experience a loss of revenue of more than $ 250 billion this year.
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