Cathay Pacific gets extension on drawdown for loan

202 Pacific Airways said on Tuesday (Jun 8) that the Hong Kong government had agreed to extend the drawdown period for a HK$7.8 billion (US$1.01 billion) loan facility by a year to June 2022. The bridge loan was part of a US$5 billion rescue package led by the Hong Kong government and Cathay’s major shareholders Swire Pacific and Air China last year to help the airline weather the COVID-19 crisis.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “We greatly appreciate the Government’s confidence in the airline and its long-term prospects despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. We have not drawn down the facility over the past 12 months as we have been adopting a suite of measures to preserve cash. We are thankful for the Government’s decision to extend the drawdown period, which provides us with more flexibility to manage our liquidity position.”

The group’s liquidity balance remains at a healthy level of more than HK$28 billion as at 31 December 2020. Additionally, the airline has successfully raised HK$6.74 billion from a convertible bond issue in February, and US$650 million under the Medium Term Note programme last month.

Tang added: “We continue to be able to raise debt financing in the capital markets. This reflects the investing community’s confidence in our prospects as a leading airline. As we look to the future, it is critically important that we continue to remain agile, focus on prudent cash management and explore capital financing opportunities as they arise. As travel demand gradually resumes, we remain absolutely confident in the long-term future of Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong as an international aviation hub.”

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