DUBAI, May 31 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is seeking to raise debt to help finance upcoming deliveries of Boeing aircraft on order worth more than $1 billion, banking sources familiar with the matter said.
The state carrier sent requests for proposals to banks about a month ago for 12-year secured funding for the delivery of 787 Dreamliner aircraft and a cargo plane, the sources said.
Etihad, which declined to comment on the financing, has 51 787 Dreamliner jets on order, including 21 787-9s and 30 of the larger 787-10 variant, according to Boeing’s website. Its only cargo plane on order is a 777 Freighter.
It was not immediately clear how many aircraft deliveries Etihad was seeking to finance via the debt it is looking to raise in the current round of talks with lenders.
One or two Abu Dhabi-based banks placed tight bids for the proposed financing and are likely to either provide it on a bilateral basis or through club loans, the sources said.
Earlier this month, sources told Reuters Etihad could cancel some aircraft on order as part of a company-wide strategy review that has been underway since 2016 when it lost nearly $2 billion.
Etihad is considering its options for more than 160 aircraft it has ordered, ranging from swapping modes to delaying deliveries to outright cancellations, said the sources in the May 6 reporter.
The requests for proposals to finance 787 deliveries could suggest the airline is sticking with the Dreamliner which it has operated since 2015.
Etihad also has 88 Airbus jets on order, including 62 A350s that are yet to enter the fleet. (Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell Editing by David Holmes)