Gulf banks close A320 financing for Air Arabia

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A consortium of Gulf-based banks has closed the financing of the first of 10 new Airbus A320 aircraft for Air Arabia.

The Middle East budget carrier signed a finance deal with Qatar National Bank and Commercial Bank International last year. The banks are co-arrangers of the commercial loan facilities covering the A320s that were initially scheduled to deliver in 2014.

Air Arabia says the first aircraft (MSN 5903) was brought forward and delivered in the second part of December.

The remaining nine A320s as part of this facility will be delivered this year.

The 10 aircraft are part of a larger order for 44 A320s placed with Airbus in 2007.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that Air Arabia operates a fleet of 30 A320s. Another 23 are on backlog.