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Air Canada raises nearly $500 million by selling, leasing back nine Boeing 737 Max 8s

Last Updated Oct 8, 2020 at 8:51 am EST

An Air Canada worker clean her ticketing station at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Air Canada has the second-highest number of complaints about refunds to the U.S. Department of Transportation of any airline, including American ones. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

MONTREAL β€” Air Canada has raised nearly $500 million by selling and leasing back nine aircraft to help offset the cash drain from COVID-19.

The Montreal-based airline says it completed the sale of nine Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for $485 million, and long-term lease commitments of $458 million.

Chief financial officer Michael Rousseau says the airline has raised almost $6 billion in liquidity since the start of the pandemic to mitigate the challenges and uncertainty caused by the virus.

It also recently completed two long-term financings to replace $1.4 billion in short-term debt coming due within the next nine months.

Air Canada says it will continue to explore other financing arrangements that may be required to expand its cash position.

Travel restrictions and dried-up demand continue to take a toll on the airline and tourism industries, forcing the layoff or furlough of more than 30,000 employees at Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press

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