JetBlue seeking debt for up to seven aircraft

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JetBlue Airways is marketing debt for up to seven Airbus narrowbodies to banks, say sources.

The New York-based low-cost carrier has a request for proposals out to banks for the deal, they say. The airline is understood to be able to achieve pricing of 200bp to 250bp over Libor for the floating rate secured debt, they add.

JetBlue would not comment on the possible pricing.

The deal could include deliveries scheduled for both this year and 2014. JetBlue has said that it plans to increase the number of unencumbered aircraft to between 18 and 22 by the end of December from 11 this past year.

The airline has deliveries of three Airbus A320s and four A321s scheduled this year, and nine A321s in 2014, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

"Regarding the Airbuses, right now, the private financing markets are extremely attractive," said James Leddy, senior vice-president and treasurer of JetBlue, during an investors day earlier in March. "They're actually more attractive than the capital markets for us."

The airline plans to finance seven Embraer 190 deliveries that are scheduled this year with export credit debt from Brazilian development bank BNDES.

Note: This article was updated on 9 April with comments from JetBlue.