EasyJet is to raise fresh funds of more than £300 million to combat the Covid-19 downturn through the sale and leaseback of aircraft.

Once the two transactions are completed, the UK budget carrier will retain 152 fully owned and ‘unencumbered’ aircraft, representing about 44% of the fleet.

The deals cover a total of nine Airbus A320s with two separate leasing companies, generating £305.7 million.

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EasyJet said it was seeing “high levels of demand” from the operating lease marketplace.

The carrier said: “EasyJet is pleased to confirm that it has engaged with a number of operating lessors to raise further liquidity, which will be used to further strengthen easyJet’s financial position.

“EasyJet confirms the sale and leaseback of nine aircraft with two counterparties. The transactions generate total cash proceeds of $398.6 million (£305.7m).”

The airline added: “EasyJet will continue to review its liquidity position on a regular basis and will continue to assess further funding options, including those that exist in the robust sale and leaseback market.”