Singapore Airlines gets $540 mln in funding to manage coronavirus crisis

July 23 (Reuters) – Singapore Airlines Ltd said on Thursday it had secured S$750 million ($541.87 million) of funding against some of its Airbus and Boeing aircraft to shore up liquidity amid plummeting demand due to the novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus travel curbs have led to the grounding of fleets worldwide and airlines are facing a massive liquidity crisis and tapping multiple avenues to raise cash.

In March, Australia’s Qantas Airways secured financing against its aircraft fleet, while Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific sold six Boeing 777-300ERs to BOC Aviation Ltd .

Singapore Airlines has raised about S$11 billion this year via a combination of rights issue, secured financing, credit lines and short-term loans, it said in a statement.

Its total financing is among the largest amounts raised by any carrier during the global health crisis.

With the new committed lines of credit, the carrier has ensured it gets continued access to more than S$2.1 billion in committed liquidity, it said.

The airline, considered a bellwether for premium travel in Asia, posted its first ever annual loss for the year that ended March 31, and later warned it would report a material operating loss in the first-quarter of fiscal 2021. ($1 = 1.3841 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru)

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