Thu, Jan 15, 2009
LCC Raises $350 Million In Short-Term Profit
Southwest Airlines confirmed
Wednesday it has completed the second half of a leaseback
transaction designed to raise $350 million in cash, by selling off
10 of its Boeing 737s.
As ANN reported, the first five planes were
sold to an undisclosed leasing company back in December, in a deal
which came to light in a filing with financial regulators.
The Dallas Morning News reports the first half of the deal
committed the company to lease back, operate and maintain the first
five planes sold for a period of 12 years, and the ones transferred
on January 8 for 16 years.
The airline will make payments of about $260,000 per month for
each of the first five planes, and $253,000 per month on each of
the aircraft in the latest transaction. Both payments may be
adjusted for market conditions after six months.
Southwest is reportedly using the leaseback arrangement to
bolster its short-term cash reserves to cover losses related to its
fuel hedges. While buying fuel months and years in advance gave
Southwest a considerable competitive edge when crude oil prices
were skyrocketing, the hedges became a liability when jet fuel
prices collapsed late in 2008.
In December, the airline raised another $400 million through the
sale of senior debt instruments.
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