Dubai Airshow 2011: Emirates eyes new global routes

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By Jorn Madslien Business reporter, BBC News, Dubai Airsho  www.bbc.co.uk

Dressed in traditional, flowing national dress and commanding the attention of everyone in the lavish Royal Enclosure at the Dubai Airshow, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed al-Maktoum is all smiles, cracking jokes as he enters the room.

Sheikh Ahmed rejects claims that Emirates enjoys unfair advantages
Sheikh Ahmed rejects claims that Emirates enjoys unfair advantages

The chairman and chief executive of Dubai government-owned Emirates Airline & Group certainly has reason to be cheerful.

At a time when many governments in the industrialised world are finding it hard to borrow money, Sheikh Ahmed has just completed a deal to buy $26bn worth of new aircraft from the US aerospace giant Boeing.

And unlike many rival airlines, Emirates will find finance with ease, in spite of – or perhaps thanks to – the eurozone crisis that has made the banks more picky about whom they lend money to.

“I believe some banks have a lot of cash and they are looking to invest it somewhere,” Sheikh Ahmed told the BBC in an interview.

“For us, financing never really was a problem.” More info and photos

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