Iraqi Airways seeks $2 billion loan from U.S. to finance Boeing deal

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By Shaymaa Adel

Azzaman, April 11, 2014

Iraqi Airways is seeking a $2 billion loan to finance a contract for the purchase of 40 Boeing passenger planes, director of the state-owned national carrier Nasser al-Bander said.

Bander said his company was forced to ask for the deal due to delays in approving its budget by the government.

In addition, he added, the national carrier has always been a self-financed firm and as such is entitled to seek loans and purchase aircraft without recourse to the government.

“The company since its inception has been taking loans from international banks and serviced them on its own,” said Bander.

Asked whether the company received any allocations from the government, Bander said the government earmarks a special budget for the airways but “this doesn’t prevent it from seeking loans from foreign banks and countries.”

He said the airway was seeking to get the loan from U.S. Export and Import Bank specifically to finance the purchase of 40 Boeing aircraft.

Bander said his company had already signed the deal with Boeing and one of the planes had arrived in Iraq with the payment of the first installment.

However, he said, the loan was important to continue paying Boeing so that there would no delay in delivering the aircraft to Iraq.

The deal to purchase 40 Boeing planes will cost up to $5 billion.

The Ministry of transportation has asked the government for $50 billion to revamp the country’s transport system and set up modern railways linking major Iraqi cities.