AirAsia Group announced on Thursday (5 August) that it has US$56.83 million from the merger between Fly Leasing Limited (Fly Leasing) and Carlyle Aviation Partners. Carlyle in March announced it would buy Fly Leasing for an enterprise value of US$2.36 billion. AirAsia had held a 10.94 percent share in the aircraft leasing company prior to the merger, and AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the proceeds were “a welcome boost” to the company’s fundraising strategy.
Fernandes said: “Our plan to raise up to MYR 2.5 billion ringgit through a combination of borrowing and equity raising is on track…We have already raised MYR 336.5 million from two tranches of private placements earlier this year and continue to renegotiate leasing terms with all of our lessors. We have also disposed of 32.67 percent of our interest in AirAsia India, amounting to US$37.68 million (approximately RM152.64 million), ceased operations in Japan and sold a number of spare engines amounting to over US$130 million.
“There are a number of other fundraising initiatives in place to ensure sufficient liquidity for the Group, which are well progressed,” Fernandes said. “We are in the process of finalising a Danajamin PRIHATIN Guarantee Scheme loan, working on a data backed loan of up to US$350 million and preparing for a rights issue of up to RM1.02 billion which has a target completion in December. We remain optimistic about our ability to not only survive the ongoing effects of the pandemic, but to return to the skies stronger than ever in the near future. Domestic air travel is likely to gradually resume in the third quarter 2021 and international travel should start to take flight in 2022. We foresee a major resurgence in air travel on the horizon due to huge pent-up demand and the acceleration of vaccines, better testing, education, tracing and the push for digital health passports in all of our key markets.”