BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Easyjet confirmed on Monday that it has secured a £600
million loan from the UK government through the Covid Corporate Financing
Facility, providing it with a lifeline after it grounded its fleet last month.
In addition to the loan, which is issued by HM Treasury and
the Bank of England, Easyjet has drawn down US$500 million (£407 million) from
its Revolving Credit Facility. As a result, the airline expects to have access
to cash reserves of £2.3 billion by 9 April.
The airline has been impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19,
which caused a slump in passenger demand and travel restrictions across Europe,
and forced it to ground its entire fleet. It recently reached an agreement
with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) on furlough arrangements
for its pilots, backdated to 1 April. It had already come to a similar agreement
with the union representing its cabin crew and training instructors.
Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We remain absolutely focused
on ensuring the long-term future of the airline, reducing our costs and
preserving jobs to make sure Easyjet is in the best position to resume flying
once the pandemic is over.
“The CCFF provides businesses with access to funds at the
commercial rates which were available before the coronavirus crisis and any UK
company that had an investment-grade rating before the crisis can apply for
The news comes after Easyjet’s founder and largest
shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou threatened to sue the airline’s bosses unless
they cancel a £4.5 billion order for new aircraft with Airbus. Haji-Ioannou
said axing the order will prevent the carrier from running out of cash by
August. He has also said he will begin attempting to remove directors from the
company’s board if they fail to terminate the order.
Easyjet recently decided to go ahead with a £170 million
dividend pay-out despite the financial impact of the coronavirus – including £60
million to Haji-Ioannou and his family – saying it was legally obligated to do