Singapore Airlines has closed its first corporate secured loan, worth S$900mn (US$654mn).
Six banks were involved in the lending: Citi, DBS, KfW, MUFG, OCBC and UOB. All six of the banks acted as mandated lead arrangers on the 10-year facility, the pricing of which has not been revealed.
MUFG acted as co-ordinating bank, facility and security agent. MUFG’s head of global corporate banking for Asia and Oceania, Sanjiv Vohra, says that the bank has “a strong record in aviation financing and played a leading role in this facility”. In August, MUFG was appointed by Floreat, a privately-held UK-based financial investment company, to source leased aircraft worth US$500mn to add to its investment portfolio. The bank will arrange the debt financing, with the client providing equity.
A bank spokesperson tells GTR that the recently-secured funds will be used by Singapore Airlines for business expansion purposes. The loan is secured by six new A350-900 aircraft. The airline has recently purchased a fleet of the Airbus-manufactured planes. The medium-haul aircraft will be debuted on the Singapore to Adelaide route later this year.
Meanwhile, in October, Singapore Airlines will launch the first ultra-long range A350-900 fight, servicing the Singapore to Newark route.
Singapore Airlines is the national carrier of Singapore. It also owns the brands SilkAir and Scoot and is majority owned by the Singaporean government, with the sovereign investment vehicle, Temasek Holdings, taking a 56% share in the company.
In May, the airline reported a 148% rise in profit, marking its most profitable year since 2011. Rising passenger and cargo revenues were partially behind the growth, with Singapore Airlines also crediting a three-year transformation programme which culminated last year, designed to counter the competition from premium Middle Eastern airlines and low-cost regional carriers, including from emerging companies out of China.