United Airlines Holdings Inc. is planning to raise US$5 billion by borrowing against its customer-loyalty program, stepping up efforts to boost liquidity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committed financing will be secured by the MileagePlus rewards program, United said in a statement Monday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Barclays Plc and Morgan Stanley are arranging the deal, which is expected to close by the end of July.

United is seeking to strengthen its balance sheet to contend with what it called “the most disruptive financial crisis in the history of aviation.”

The carrier, which also expects to have access to US$4.5 billion in loans from the government’s economic rescue package, said it would have have total liquidity of US$17 billion by the end of September.Average daily cash burn will be about US$40 million in the second quarter and US$30 million in the third quarter.

United fell 7.3 per cent to US$36.80 ahead of regular trading in New York as other airlines and broad stock indexes also sank.

Bloomberg

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