Emirates to add 87 aircraft to its current fleet

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DUBAI – Dubai government-owned Emirates Airline, which is hoping to raise new debt, plans to have a total of 235 aircraft by 2017, adding 87 aircraft to its current fleet, as it expects more demand on existing routes and sees ample opportunities to tap new markets.

The “Emirates fleet is projected to increase by 87 aircraft from 148 in 2011 to a total of 235 by 2017 [resulting in a CAGR of 8%, in line with seat capacity growth],” Emirates said in a recent presentation to investors.

The Middle East’s largest carrier has 21 aircraft due for delivery in financial year 2012 and 172 aircraft due for delivery thereafter, according to its preliminary prospectus for a planned dollar-denominated bond sale.

“As at 31 March 2011, the Group had capital commitments in respect of 21 aircraft due for delivery in financial year 2012 and 172 aircraft due for delivery thereafter. In addition, the Group held options on 50 further aircraft,” the prospectus, dated May 19, said.

Emirates said it expects to continue to incur significant capital expenditure in relation to these deliveries in future years, reflecting its new aircraft delivery schedule.

The airline, which currently flies passengers to 100 destinations in 61 countries worldwide, said “there is still a significant number of airports with considerable traffic that are currently not served by Emirates.”

Emirates said it intends to launch additional passenger routes to Geneva and Copenhagen and it has also announced flights to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, commencing in January 2012.

Emirates has mandated Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, HSBC Holdings Plc, and Morgan Stanley as lead managers on the new planned bond issue.