Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has secured financing for a pair of Airbus A340-600 aircraft being acquired as part of a fleet expansion.

The funding for the first jet - already operating for the carrier - comprises a $102 million, 12-year facility from a consortium of international and regional banks including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe.

Another $110 million is being sourced from a newly-established Islamic bank, Al Hilal, in Abu Dhabi which will provide a 12-year Islamic finance lease for the second aircraft, due for delivery in December.

"These deals have been secured at a time of extreme liquidity stress in the international banking market and their conclusion in this adverse environment is indicative of the strong relationship between Etihad and the regional and international financial community," says Etihad chief James Hogan.

Etihad operates 39 aircraft and this fleet will expand to 42 by the end of 2008.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news