Etihad Airways said to seek US$600 mil loan for planes

Etihad Airways PJSC’s first Airbus A380 aircraft moves out of a hangar during its unveiling at Airbus Group NV’s paint plant in Hamburg, Germany, on Sept 25, 2014. (Bloomberg pic) 

DUBAI: Etihad Airways PJSC is seeking a loan of about US$600 million to help make initial payments for planes, according to people familiar with the matter.

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned carrier is arranging the loan on its own and has reached out to banks that may be willing to provide the unsecured facility with a maturity of one or two years, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

A spokesman for Etihad Airways said the company doesn’t comment on rumours or speculation.

Etihad Airways has 43 unfilled orders from the Boeing Co’s 787 family, according to a Boeing January report.

The carrier in February slashed orders worth US$21.4 billion at list prices for Boeing and Airbus SE jetliners, pushing forward with a drastic restructuring after years of operational losses.

It cut the order for Boeing 777-9 aircraft to six jets from 25, while cancelling the delivery of 42 Airbus A350 wide-bodies, leaving it with 20, it said at the time.

After reporting losses of US$4.8 billion over the past three years, Etihad Airways has cut thousands of positions, put the brakes on a costly expansion and scrapped marginal routes.

The airline is also being sued over an August 2017 decision to cut financial support for defunct German carrier Air Berlin Plc.