Capital Calls BA owner reaches into collateral cupboard

2 minute read

British Airways Airbus A380 airplanes are stored on the tarmac of Marcel-Dassault airport at Chateauroux in France, June 10, 2020.

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LONDON, March 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.


PLAYING THE SLOTS. International Airlines Group’s (ICAG.L) arms are having to stretch ever further down the back of the sofa in search of spare change. The London-based company, owner of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, has posted landing slots at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports as security for a new $1.8 billion overdraft from its banks. That’s on top of flogging its art collection and in-flight silverware, leaning on pensioners for support read more and hitting up shareholders for 2.75 billion euros in October.

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With 10.3 billion euros of available liquidity, IAG has plenty of gas in the tank. Rapid vaccine rollouts in the United Kingdom and United States also mean its transatlantic routes could reopen sooner than others. Yet there’s a risk that big-spending corporate travellers will stay home. Moody’s reckons many executives will continue to favour Zoom meetings over face-to-face ones, delaying a recovery until at least 2024 . Given its reliance on transatlantic business travel, IAG will be hoping for a speedier recovery than that. (By Ed Cropley)

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Editing by Neil Unmack and Oliver Taslic

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