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Air Canada announced that it recently completed two longer-term refinancing transactions for a total amount of approximately $1.52 billion, replacing short-term facilities.
The first transaction consists of a committed secured facility totalling $787.7 million to finance Air Canada’s purchase of the first 18 Airbus A220 aircraft with a term of 12 years from delivery of each aircraft on a floating interest basis based on CDOR. This equates to an interest rate of approximately 2.39 per cent using current CDOR rates. As aircraft are financed under this new Canadian dollar secured facility, the bridge financing of $787.7 million for the same 18 Airbus A220 aircraft put in place in April 2020 will be repaid concurrently. Any amount left unpaid under the bridge financing will be repaid following the financing of the 18th A220 aircraft expected in the first quarter of 2021.
The second transaction consists of a private placement of two tranches of enhanced equipment trust certificates, the proceeds of which were used to purchase equipment notes issued by Air Canada and secured by three Boeing 787-9 aircraft, three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, one Boeing 777-200LR and nine A321-200 aircraft. The two tranches of certificates have a combined aggregate face amount of US$552.6 million and a weighted average interest rate of 5.73 per cent. The private placement is comprised of Class A Certificates and Class B Certificates. The Class A Certificates totalling US$452.6 million have an interest rate of 5.25 per cent per annum and a final expected distribution date of April 1, 2029. The Class B Certificates totalling US$100 million have an interest rate of 9.00 per cent per annum and a final expected distribution date of Oct. 1, 2025. Air Canada used the proceeds from this financing together with cash on hand to repay in full the US$600 million 364-day term loan originally put in place in April 2020.
The debt maturities in 2021 previously disclosed in our Q2 2020 results will be, on a pro forma basis, reduced by approximately $1.42 billion and are now estimated to total $1.71 billion, once both aforementioned bridge loans are fully repaid.
“These two refinancing transactions were completed in an extremely challenging environment and continue to demonstrate Air Canada’s ability to access financial markets on attractive terms and conditions to either improve liquidity or to refinance existing debt to push out maturities longer term and lower overall financial risk,” said Pierre Houle, managing director and treasurer of the company.