Airline group IAG has raised €2.74 billion through the issuing of new shares to allow the company to “withstand a more prolonged downturn in air travel”.
IAG, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level, said the “capital increase” would allow the company to “strengthen its balance sheet and reduce leverage”.
The extra cash will allow IAG to cope with a potentially longer downturn in air travel demand and give it “operational and strategic flexibility” to respond to any post-Covid recovery in the market.
“IAG believes the capital increase, together with its quick response to the crisis, should enable the group to emerge from the current pandemic in a strong position, with more resilience, greater flexibility and the ability to make the right operational and strategic decisions for the long term benefit of all its stakeholders,” said the company in a statement.
Qatar Airways Group, which is IAG’s largest shareholder with a 25.1% stake, has agreed to buy new shares in the “rights issue”.
The issue of new shares was approved by IAG shareholders at a meeting on 8 September.
IAG’s long-serving chief executive Willie Walsh has also stepped down earlier this week to be replaced by former Iberia boss Luis Gallego.