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Singapore Airlines considers debut dollar bonds to bolster liquidity

·1-min read
Singapore Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Changi Airport in Singapore December 8, 2020.  REUTERS/Edgar Su
Singapore Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Changi Airport in Singapore December 8, 2020. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

By Kyungji Cho and Kyunghee Park

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore Airlines Ltd. is considering its first-ever offering of dollar bonds, as it tries to bolster cash amid the pandemic.

The city-state’s flag carrier is holding a series of fixed-income investor calls in Asia and Europe from Monday for the potential debt sale, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The pandemic has devastated the global travel industry, forcing airlines to suspend flights, lay off employees and seek financial help from governments and investors. While vaccines have provided a measure of guarded optimism, the outlook for any sustained rebound in travel demand remains uncertain amid rising Covid-19 outbreaks.

Last year, Singapore Airlines carried 81% fewer passengers. It expects to only be operating at one-quarter of its capacity as of March versus before the pandemic, according to an exchange statement Monday.

The company raised a total of S$1.35 billion ($1 billion) late last year selling private placement bonds and convertible notes as it sought to bolster its cash pile.

There are signs that things may be less bad for the industry ahead, though major challenges persist. Singapore is progressively re-opening its borders and more people around the world are getting vaccinated. But analysts expect airline revenues may not fully recover in 2021, as new strains of the coronavirus are found.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.