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Dubai’s Emirates airline signs $750 mln sales-backed loan

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Emirates, the world’s largest long-haul airline before the pandemic, has signed a $750 million five-year dual-tranche financing facility with Emirates NBD, the bank said on Tuesday.

“The landmark transaction remains competitively priced and marks a first for Emirates Airline as a sales-receivable backed financing structure, aimed to diversify their liquidity pool,” said Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender.

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Emirates has received $3.1 billion in state support from Dubai since the start of the pandemic. That includes $1.1 billion in June, when it reported a $5.5 billion loss for the year ended March - its first annual loss in more than three decades.

It was the airline’s biggest annual loss, and only its third ever following losses in 1987-88 and 1985-86, its first year in operation, an Emirates representative has said.

Emirates has said the government, its sole shareholder, would continue to support the airline that has transformed Dubai into a major international travel hub over the past three decades.

Dubai, the regional tourism and business hub, is hoping to attract millions to the Expo 2020 world fair, which opened on Friday after a year-long delay due to the pandemic.

“As Dubai gears up to be the most visited city by 2025, we look forward to playing our part in achieving this goal through more of such landmark transactions with Emirates Airline,” Ahmed Al Qassim, Emirates NBD’s head of corporate and institutional banking, said in the statement.

“Emirates can confirm that we have signed a five-year dual-tranche financing facility with Emirates NBD,” an Emirates representative said in emailed response to Reuters, without commenting further.

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