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Gulf Air and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) have signed a syndicated loan agreement for the provision of US$65mn that will be used to finance continued investments forming part of the airline’s three-year restructuring programme notably in the airline’s fleet, IT infrastructure and its product and service portfolio.

In terms of the agreement, Standard Chartered, acting as arranger and agent for the consortium of lenders, which include Ahli United Bank (Bahrain), Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Bank Muscat, National Bank of Oman, Persia International Bank, Samba Financial and Standard Chartered, will extend credit facilities valued at US$65mn to the airline. The loan is repayable over a period of three years.

“In the last year we reduced the airline’s losses by more than 50%. This year it is our objective to break even,” says James Hogan, Gulf Air’s president and chief executive. “There is no quick fix to achieve sustained corporate change and commercial viability. It is complex process which, in addition to the commitment of likeminded people and organisations, requires significant investment.”

“We appreciate the support of companies and organisations that share our aspirations in the region and that will work in partnership with us to meet the objectives of our three year plan,” he adds. “I believe our demonstrated commitment to meeting the financial objectives in our three-year plan and to operating on a commercial platform is responsible for the changed perceptions and renewed confidence within the financial markets and among our industry partners.”