Delta pledges loyalty program to raise $6.5 billion

By Tracy Rucinski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Monday it is seeking to raise $6.5 billion through new bonds and loans backed by its SkyMiles loyalty program, further bolstering liquidity to weather a drastic downturn in travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlanta-based Delta said it has parked about 40% of its fleet and cut its capacity by about 60% in the September quarter from last year as it continues to burn through $27 million in cash each day.

Reuters September 15, 2020 00:07:37 IST
Delta pledges loyalty program to raise $6.5 billion

Delta pledges loyalty program to raise 65 billion

By Tracy Rucinski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Monday it is seeking to raise $6.5 billion through new bonds and loans backed by its SkyMiles loyalty program, further bolstering liquidity to weather a drastic downturn in travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Atlanta-based Delta said it has parked about 40% of its fleet and cut its capacity by about 60% in the September quarter from last year as it continues to burn through $27 million in cash each day.

U.S. airlines have cut costs and raised debt to survive what they call an unprecedented industry crisis. Travel demand is hovering around 30% of last year's levels and the situation is not expected to improve until there is a meaningful recovery in demand.

With its latest financing deal, Delta said it will not pursue a $4.6 billion federal loan available under the coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, although it continues to lobby for a second round of federal payroll grants.

Delta is among U.S. airlines to have tapped funds under a $25 billion made available primarily in grants under the CARES Act to cover employees' payroll through September, but not a separate $25 billion package in secured loans.

The loan program has attractive financing terms but restricts executive compensation and share buybacks.

The airline has said it could furlough nearly 2,000 pilots in October without more federal aid, but believes it can avoid any flight attendant furloughs through the winter thanks to strong demand for voluntary departures or leaves.

Delta had $15.7 billion in liquidity at the end of June, which it said equaled about 19 months of financial runway at a daily burn rate of $27 million.

It still has unencumbered assets worth $6 billion to $7 billion, primarily in the form of spare aircraft parts and engines, if needed, officials said.

Delta did not disclose the value of the loyalty program, or the terms of the new financing, which mirrors a debt deal by United Airlines in June backed by its $20 billion MileagePlus program.

Delta's shares, which have lost about 46% this year, closed at $31.70 on Friday.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Nick Zieminski)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes
India

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes

The Pulitzer prize winner, who was in Kandahar covering operations against Taliban, was killed when he was riding along with the Afghan Special Forces

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed during assignment in Afghanistan's Kandahar province
India

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed during assignment in Afghanistan's Kandahar province

Siddiqui had also covered the 2020 Delhi riots, COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and the protests in Hong Kong

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth
India

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth

Danish's photographs were not just documentation, but the work of someone who went down to eye-level, as they say in photographic parlance.