Gulf Air, BiSB sign $70m finance deal
Manama, August 24, 2009
Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, has signed a $70 million ijara facility with Bahrain Islamic Bank (BIsB).
The four year medium-term facility will be used to partly finance the purchase of eight A320 aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010.
“We are glad to have partnered with BIsB, the first Islamic bank in the country and one of the pioneering Islamic banks in the region,” said chairman of Gulf Air Board of Directors and chief executive of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company Talal Al Zain.
“As the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Gulf Air is an integral part of the nation’s economy and this ijara arrangement will facilitate Gulf Air to further strengthen its presence as a key player in the regional and global aviation industry and move on with its realignment programme in tune with Bahrain’s ‘Vision 2030’ strategy.”
Mohammed Ebrahim Mohammed, BIsB’s chief executive officer, said: “Just like Gulf Air that has a long and established presence in the aviation sector, BIsB has also maintained a prominent presence in the Islamic banking sector by adopting innovative Islamic investment and financing products. We are delighted to have arranged this facility to meet Gulf Air’s financing requirements, demonstrating our confidence and faith in Gulf Air.
Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali added: “In 2007 Gulf Air became a 100 per cent Bahraini owned company and since then the airline has made a conscious effort to work with local companies whenever possible.
“Our ultimate aim is to build an efficient, sustainable business and a dynamic national airline that effectively serves the people and economy of Bahrain. This loan facility is an example of the trust and confidence that BIsB has upon the national carrier’s future.” – TradeArabia News Service