Emirates will focus the financing for its latest slew of widebody orders on the bond market, after announcing orders for 150 Boeing 777X aircraft and 50 more Airbus A380s on the opening day of the Dubai Air Show.
"We have gone from operating leases to finance leases and [latterly] have issued bonds,” says Emirates president Tim Clark, describing how the carrier has developed its aircraft financing model over the years. “In future we’ll be able to use all these sources but probably more bonds I would say.”
With a strong balance sheet and healthy cash flow, Emirates has been successful in tapping the bond markets for finance and he expects this to remain the case, says Clark.
The 777X is an attractive aircraft because it has a 16-17% improvement in fuel burn compared to Emirates’ current fleet of 777-300ERs, says Clark. “This improvement to the bottom line makes it popular with accountants,” he adds.
The 777-300ERs will eventually be retired and replaced with the 777X. “We needed to see a successor [for the 777-300ER],” he says.