easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) has announced the successful conclusion of its previously announced sale and leaseback programme for a total of 23 aircraft, generating total proceeds of $771 million (£608m), at the upper end of the £500-650 million anticipated proceeds first highlighted in our trading update of 28 May 2020.
The final transaction was executed with Jin Shan 37 Ireland Company Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of BOCOMM Leasing) for the sale and leaseback of five A321neo aircraft for aggregate cash sales proceeds of $266 million (approximately £203m). The proceeds of the sale will be used to maximise liquidity and further strengthen easyJet’s financial position.
The net book value of the aircraft, which vary in age from five to nine months of age, was approximately £167 million as at 31 March 2020. The aircraft will be leased back until each of the aircraft reach 10 years of age. The lease obligations generated amount to a total of approximately £122.3 million. Over the terms of the leases the average incremental net annual headline cost reflected in easyJet’s income statement will be in the mid-single digit millions of pounds. Following the conclusion of the sale and leaseback programme around 50% of the fleet remains unencumbered.
Following the successful conclusion of this sale and leaseback programme, easyJet has now raised over £2.4 billion since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This comprises £400 million from drawing down our Revolving Credit Facility, £600 million from the UK government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, £400 million from two term loans, the £608 million in proceeds from the sale and leaseback programme and £419 million of equity issuance. easyJet will continue to review its liquidity position on a regular basis and will continue to assess any further funding opportunities.