Amana Bank was bestowed the Gold Award for Finance Deal of the Year at the recently concluded SLIBFI Awards 2021, which were adjudicated by KPMG and organized by UTO EduConsult.
The Deal of the Year Award was adjudicated to the Bank owing to financing the operations of Fits Aviation, a private airline operating both international and local passenger and cargo flights. The Bank provided financing to restructure the company’s long term financing as well as for the working capital requirements of a newly leased A320-200, which was converted from a passenger aircraft to a PF mode cargo aircraft.
Commenting on winning the award, the Bank’s Vice President Business Banking Irshad Iqbal said “We are truly honoured to have won the award for Deal of the Year, which testifies how our non-interest based financing model is aptly suitable for financing large scale projects. At a time when the country’s focus was on promoting exports, we are happy to have partnered with Fits Aviation, who timely supported the local industries to fulfil their export requirements by providing reliable air freight service, especially for perishable goods, at a time when many international cargo flights were limited. In addition, Fits Aviation played a pivotal role during this pandemic by carrying vaccines, medicines, PPEs as well as employees of essential service industries. Special note should be made of the fact that Fits Aviation carried COVID 19 vaccines to Jaffna as a CSR initiative.”
Fits Aviation which goes under the brand FitsAir is a pioneer in Sri Lankan aviation industry and is the first privately-operated Sri Lankan airline to be licensed for international cargo operations by the Sri Lankan Civil Aviation Authority. Additionally, Fits Aviation is a BOI-approved entity that currently operates with a fleet of One Air Bus A320-200, One ATR-72, Two Cessna 208 and Two Cessna 152, which are manned by professionally qualified local pilots and cabin crew. The company carries outbound cargo flights from Bandaranaike International Airport to Male, Dubai, Singapore, Indonesia Nairobi Bangalore, Kotchi, Trivadnrum, Chennai, Yangon and Saigon, with plans afoot to extend destinations on the induction of the second A320-200 aircraft before year end. The Airline will commence operation of scheduled domestic passenger flights to Jaffna and Batticaloa through its ATR-72 aircraftt shortly, while also offering charter flights, scenic flights and sky diving through its Cessna 208 aircrafts. Continuing on its trailblazing journey as a leader among small operators, the Airline plans to commence international passenger flight operations from Ratmalana as well as Jaffna airports.
In addition to winning the award for Deal of the Year, Amana Bank was also adjudicated with the Gold Award for Entity of the Year as well as the Gold Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year at the SLIBFI Award, which were held for the 10th consecutive year.
Amana Bank PLC is a stand-alone institution licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange with Jeddah based IsDB Group being the principal shareholder having a 29.97% shareholding of the Bank. The IsDB Group is a ‘AAA’ rated multilateral development financial institution with a membership of 57 countries. In September 2021 Fitch Ratings Sri Lanka affirmed the National Long Term Rating of Amãna Bank to BB+(lka) with a Stable Outlook. Amãna Bank does not have any subsidiaries, associates or affiliated institutions, other than its flagship CSR venture ‘OrphanCare’ Trust.