Emirates Group chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum has confirmed that the airline is considering a $1.1bn sukuk (Islamic bond) issue in the airline’s latest move to access debt capital markets.

Earlier this month, the Dubai-based airline mandated local and international banks to arrange a global investor roadshow ahead of a possible benchmark sukuk issuance. Benchmark issuance refers to transactions worth over $500m.

The airline mandated Citi and Standard Chartered Bank as global coordinators and joint lead managers for the sukuk issuance, along with BNP Paribas, HSBC, JP Morgan, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, and Noor Bank as joint lead managers.

It is understood proceeds of the planned sukuk issue will be utilised for “general corporate purposes.”

In November last year, Emirates placed an order for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, worth an estimated $15bn. This was followed earlier this year with a firm order for 20 Airbus A380 aircraft with an option for an additional 16 more, worth an estimated $16bn at list prices.

Emirates is understood to have tapped the debt capital markets with four corporate issuances since 2011 raising over $3.65bn. Over half of the issuances has been in the sukuk market.

The airline has also fully repaid six bonds totalling $2.8bn, including sukuks, since 2010.

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