Etihad seeks A330s financing

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Etihad Airways is expected to shortlist bids for three Airbus widebody aircraft that are scheduled for delivery in 2014 by the end of this week, according to banking sources.

The Abu-Dhabi based carrier approached the market last month with a request for proposals (RFP) last month covering two Airbus A330-200s and one A330-200F aircraft seeking various range of financing.

Etihad is looking for export credit agency-supported proposals, commercial debt, Japanese operating leases with call option as well as sale and leaseback bids.

The RFP covers deliveries in the first quarter of next year. According to Flightglobal’s Ascend online database,the Middle East carrier will receive one A330-200 in February. In March, it will add one A330-200 and one A330-200F aircraft.

Bids were due last week and the carrier is expected to short list bids over the next few weeks, according to one banking source.

In May this year, Etihad took delivery of a new A330-200F. The aircraft was financed under a sale and leaseback agreement with Guggenheim Aviation Partners.

Next year, Etihad is scheduled to take delivery of a total of 11 new aircraft and will introduce two new aircraft types to its fleet in the fourth quarter: the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787.

Two A380s are expected in October and November 2014 while the two 787-9s are planned for October and December, says Ascend.

In addition Etihad will receive four new A320s during the course of next year.

Etihad was unavailable for comments.