U.S. Airlines Begin Paying Back Government Loans
- American Airlines and Sun Country Airlines have paid back their CARES Act loans from the U.S. government, even as additional payroll support continues to roll in from President Joseph Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. Keeping with their recent financing commitments, American repaid the $550 million it borrowed from the U.S. Treasury with proceeds from its recent record $10 billion AAdvantage financing. Sun Country repaid its $45 million Treasury loan with proceeds from its IPO earlier in March.
- Investment firm Aimia unveiled plans to sell its 20 percent stake in AirAsia‘s loyalty program BIGLIFE for roughly $25 million worth of shares in the Malaysian low-cost carrier. At close, Toronto-based Aimia will hold a 3.1 percent stake in AirAsia Group, which includes airline subsidiaries across Asia as well as digital properties. Aimia, which owned Air Canada‘s loyalty program Aeroplan until 2019, maintains a stake in Aeromexico‘s loyalty program Club Premier.
- Saudi Arabian Airlines has put together $3 billion in financing to partially fund the purchase of 73 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The orders include 65 A320neo family jets, including 15 A321XLRs, and eight 787-10s. The deal supports Saudia’s ambitions to expand its presence in the leisure and pilgrimage travel markets in coming years. HSBC Saudi was agent on the transaction along with six Saudi banks.