Virgin Atlantic today confirmed the completion of a financing deal covering two Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The transaction in partnership with aircraft leasing firm Griffin Global Asset Management and Bain Capital Credit, flagged earlier in the week, further strengthens the airline’s balance sheet.
Bain acquired sister carrier Virgin Australia after it collapsed last year and is a co-investor in Virgin Voyages.
The latest financing option – reportedly worth $230 million – allows Virgin Atlantic to pay down debt and improve its cash position as it enters 2021, “to further strengthen the airline’s resilience until passenger flying resumes at scale”.
Its follows a privately-funded £1.2 billion recapitalisation concluded in September after a plea for government support was rejected.
“With the mass roll out of effective vaccines on the horizon, the implementation of testing regimes and a reduction in UK quarantine policy, customer demand for travel in 2021 has been gradually returning,” the carrier said.
Chief financial officer Oliver Byers said: “Since the beginning of the crisis, we have taken decisive action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and protect as many jobs as possible.
“As provided for in the recent privately funded solvent recapitalisation of the airline, we have continued to explore additional financing opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet into the new year.
“We are proud to be partnering with Griffin on this financing opportunity regarding two of our Boeing 787-900s.
“Their flexibility and speed has been particularly impressive and we welcome this show of confidence from our new partners.
“This deal will allow Virgin Atlantic to further bolster our cash position and we are confident that we will emerge a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet.”
Griffin Global Asset Management chief executive Ryan McKenna said: “The Virgin Atlantic team has taken impressive steps to strengthen their business throughout this very challenging period and we are confident that they are positioned to outperform going forward.
“The Griffin and Bain Capital teams are excited to contribute to Virgin’s success for many years to come.”
The organisation’s president Marc Baer added: “We have had a longstanding relationship with Virgin Atlantic and are very pleased to provide this creative financing solution that will reinforce their strong competitive position in the market.
“The talent and professionalism of the Virgin Atlantic team is commendable, and their collaboration with us allowed the transaction to come together expeditiously.”
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