Local low-fare airline Flydubai yesterday inked a pair of aircraft financing deals worth $160 million. Also here at the Dubai Airshow, it signed a contract with Goodrich to supply wheels and carbon brakes for its first 54 Boeing 737s.
The financing covers the first two aircraft Flydubai received this past May and ensures that all six aircraft the budget carrier plans to fly by the end of this year have received permanent financing. Dublin, Ireland’s Macquarie AirFinance will cover one of the airplanes under a five-year medium-term sale and leaseback agreement similar to the deal Flydubai signed earlier in the year with GECAS.
The second deal, with Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), marks Flydubai’s first financing from within the UAE. Another five-year contract worth $80 million, the Ijara agreement also marks the first Islamic financing for Flydubai.
“Although we are made up of many nationalities, we are still very much a UAE airline,” stressed Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith at yesterday’s morning press conference.
The contract with Goodrich, meanwhile, will cover Flydubai’s 737-800 deliveries from March next year through 2013. Expected to generate $22 million for Goodrich, the contract specifies the use of the company’s Duracarb carbon material, expected to result in a weight savings of 700 pounds compared with high-capacity steel brakes and 550 pounds for standard capacity steel.
“The produce will increase our brake removal intervals and significantly reduce the weight of the aircraft in service,” said Al Gaith. “We will also enjoy the added benefit of fewer emissions due to the significant weight savings the Goodrich wheels and brakes bring to our Next Generation 737 fleet.”
Owned by the government of Dubai, Flydubai launched operations on June 1 with its first of five Boeing 737-800s. It now operates eight routes, making it one of the fastest growing start-up airlines in the world.