Singapore Airlines has raised fresh liquidity of $1 billion through its recent credit facilities, the airline said in a statement on Monday. This is in addition to the S$8.8 billion ($6.32 billion) it recently raised from a rights issue to help the airline survive the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
This takes Singapore Airlines' total financing to almost S$10 billion, one of the biggest raised by any carrier during the coronavirus crisis. Global airlines have been the hardest-hit following the coronavirus outbreak as countries imposed travel ban and locked down boundaries to help contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Fresh Lease of Life for Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines secured S$8.8 billion in liquidity through the successful completion of the rights issue on Friday. Following this another S$900 million was raised through long-term loans secured on some of Singapore Airlines' Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft over the weekend, the company said in a statement.
The carrier has also arranged new committed lines of credit and a short-term unsecured loan with a large number of banks. This will provide further liquidity amounting to more than $500 million. The company also said that all its existing committed lines of credit that were due to mature through 2020 have also been renewed till 2021 or later, thus assuring continued access to more than S$1.7 billion in liquidity.
Singapore Airlines Braves Turbulent Weather
The additional $1 billion in credit is certainly going to help the company weather the Covid-19 pandemic now. Singapore Airlines said it will continue to "explore additional means to shore up liquidity as necessary."
Also, the company, until July 2021, retains the option of raising an additional of up to S$6.2 billion in mandatory convertible bonds (MCB), which will provide further liquidity if necessary. In March, Singapore Airlines had announced that its rights exercise involved the issue of 295 rights MCBs for every 100 SIA shares held. Each of the rights could be exercised at $1 for one MCB. The rights shares were issued on the basis of three rights shares for every two existing Singapore Airlines shares owned by shareholders.
Singapore Airlines, one of the biggest carriers in South Asia, has been feeling the heat of the pandemic that almost brought its operations to a standstill over the past couple of months.
The airline has been struggling to stand back on its feet. Last month, the airline reported a net loss of S$212 million ($149.30 million), its first annual net loss in its 48-year history. Net loss for January to March alone was S$732 million ($515.50 million) compared with S$203 million ($136.24 million) net profit in the same period last year.
However, the airline said on Sunday that it doesn't plan to cut jobs at this moment and would instead focus on recovering from the coronavirus outbreak. The airline offered its staff voluntary unpaid leave and some have taken temporary posts outside the company after it temporarily suspended most of its flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.