Dubai Aerospace shop­ping around for 400 new jets

The National - News - - BUSINESS - DEENA KAMEL

Dubai Aerospace En­ter­prise, one of the big­gest air­craft lessors world­wide, is in dis­cus­sions with Air­bus and Boe­ing for an or­der of 400 jets.

State-owned DAE is look­ing to ac­quire sin­gle-aisle air­craft, in­clud­ing A320-fam­ily neos and 737 Maxs, a source fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said yes­ter­day.

The or­der would be worth at least $40 bil­lion at listed prices, as­sum­ing an even split be­tween both plane mak­ers, though cus­tomers of­ten get dis­counts.

If se­cur­ing the or­der be­comes dif­fi­cult be­cause of back­logs at the man­u­fac­tur­ers, the “log­i­cal al­ter­na­tive” would be for DAE to ex­pand its fleet by ac­quir­ing an­other lessor and gain ac­cess to its or­der­book, the source said.

“As a lead­ing air­craft man­u­fac­turer we are al­ways in dis­cus­sions on fleet re­quire­ments, and as is nor­mal we do not dis­close de­tails of these,” an Air­bus spokesman said.

The Dubai gov­ern­ment-con­trolled com­pany has a fleet worth $14bn af­ter ac­quir­ing Dublin’s Awas in Au­gust, a pur­chase that pro­pelled DAE into the top ranks of global air­craft lessors and raised its fleet to nearly 400 planes.

The com­pany is mulling an is­suance of a $500 mil­lion sukuk and may tap the mar­ket ei­ther later this year or in 2019.

In 2017, DAE raised $2.3bn in se­nior bonds split across three tranches in the United States to fund its ac­qui­si­tion of Awas.

DAE Cap­i­tal, the leas­ing arm of DAE, formed an as­set man­age­ment unit that will seek to build a $5bn port­fo­lio of as­sets in the com­ing years, the com­pany said in Jan­uary.

Reuters re­ported on the talks ear­lier yes­ter­day, cit­ing DAE chief ex­ec­u­tive Firoz Tara­pore.

Mr Tara­pore was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment when con­tacted.

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