Emirates has secured $413.7 million in financing througha public bond offering backed by the US Export-Import Bank for three new Boeing 777 aircraft.

The airline says in a statement that the transaction is the first-ever public bond offering backed by an Ex-Im Bank guarantee.

"We believe bond markets represent an important source of capital for the airline industry in general and for Emirates in particular," Emirates SVP corporate treasury Brian Jeffery says. "Emirates is constantly in search of innovative structures and alternative sources of financing for our aircraft acquisition programme and this structure will go a long way in bridging the funding gap which is evidently present in these difficult market conditions."

The secured notes are due 21 August 2021 and are payable in installments of principal and interest on a quarterly basis.

Goldman Sachs and Calyon Securities acted as joint underwriters and joint structuring agents.

This is not the Middle Eastern airline's first transaction with the Ex-Im Bank as Emirates in July 2006 secured $261 million in financing from the bank for the acquisition of two 777-300ER aircraft.

In March 2005, Emirates also secured a loan guarantee of about $130 million from the bank to cover the purchase of seven General Electric GE90-115B engines.

Emirates says it presently operates 138 widebody Airbus and Boeing aircraft and has 154 aircraft on order. In addition, the airline says it has financing in place for its aircraft deliveries until summer 2010.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news