United Airlines to raise $2.25 billion through bond offering


FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) – United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O) said it plans to raise $2.25 billion through a bond offering as it grapples with a slump in air travel demand due to government-mandated lockdowns across the world.

U.S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash a month because of the coronavirus pandemic, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

Chicago-based United has accepted U.S. government payroll aid that bans job or pay cuts before Sept. 30.

However, United and other carriers have warned that demand is unlikely to recover to pre-crisis levels by that date, forcing them to shrink in the fall.

Airlines have turned to raising capital and cutting costs to shore up liquidity and tackle the lack of demand.

The No. 3 U.S. airline said it would offer the bonds in two tranches that will mature in 2023 and 2025, and use the proceeds from the offering to repay a $2 billion term loan and for general corporate purposes.

Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) expects to have $10 billion in liquidity in June, up from $6 billion in March, while American Airlines (AAL.O) expects liquidity at $11 billion in the second quarter, up from $6.8 billion in the first.

United Airlines shares were up marginally at $24.17 before the bell.

Reporting by Rachit Vats and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Supriya Kurane

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