AirAsia seeks to raise RM454.51m via private placement

AirAsia planes are seen parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Sepang, Malaysia April 14, 2020. — Reuters pic
AirAsia planes are seen parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Sepang, Malaysia April 14, 2020. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — AirAsia Group Bhd has proposed to undertake a private placement of up to 20 per cent of its existing 3.34 billion shares to raise approximately RM454.51 million.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the budget carrier said the exercise would enhance its financial position with a marginal increase in net assets and improvement in net gearing.

It said gross proceeds would be used for fuel hedging settlement, aircraft lease and maintenance payments, and general working capital expenses, among others.

“The private placement is proposed in response to a series of unexpected events outside the group’s control, primarily attributed to the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic which has created significant challenges for the airline industry.

“Travel restrictions imposed by various governments have led to significantly reduced inbound and outbound passenger traffic for the group and uncertainty over the group’s future prospects and operations,” it said.

AirAsia said in line with the expected timeline of vaccinations and the gradual ramp-up in demand for air travel, the group would continue to exercise its active capacity management strategy.

It is targeting to operate approximately 65 to 70 per cent of its 2019 pre-Covid-19 capacity in 2021, with the corresponding ramp-up in its flight schedule to normalcy.

The airline said it would continue to assess the potential of increasing more flights and adding destinations for its customers in the coming months; however, these plans remain contingent on the further relaxation or tightening of government health measures. — Bernama

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