Singapore Airlines raises $1.5 billion from airplane sale-and-leaseback deals

FILE PHOTO: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) logo is pictured at a counter at Changi airport in Singapore May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su

(Reuters) - Singapore Airlines Ltd said on Monday it had raised about S$2 billion ($1.50 billion) through sale-and-leaseback deals for 11 of its planes to help bolster liquidity as it grapples with the pandemic-related plunge in travel.

The airline said it would continue to explore other ways to raise liquidity after reaching deals with four parties over seven Airbus SE A350-900s and four Boeing Co 787-10s.

Rivals such as Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Qantas Airways Ltd have done similar deals during the pandemic.

“The additional liquidity from these sale-and-leaseback transactions reinforces our ability to navigate the impact of the COCVID-19 pandemic from a position of strength,” Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Goh Choon Phong said in a statement.

Singapore Airlines said it had access to more than S$2.1 billion of undrawn credit lines and an option to raise up to S$6.2 billion in convertible bonds before its annual meeting in July 2021.

The airline lacks a domestic market and has been hit hard by the virtual halt to international passenger travel because of border controls and quarantine measures.

Singapore Airlines reported a 99.6% decline in passenger numbers in April relative to the prior year.

($1 = 1.3294 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney. Editing by Gerry Doyle