Delta Air to Borrow $9 Billion to Get Through Pandemic

To endure through the pandemic, Delta Air is reportedly raising funds in what's called the largest debt deal in the aviation industry.
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Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Report, seeking to endure through the pandemic, is reportedly raising $9 billion in what has been described as the largest debt deal ever in the aviation industry.

Shares of the Atlanta company at last check were up 3.5% to $34.69.

Delta is looking to borrow five-year bonds that may yield around 4.75%, and another portion due in eight years that is being marketed near 5%, Bloomberg reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. 

They carry investment-grade ratings and are expected to price Wednesday.

The $9 billion figure is up from an original $6.5 billion of financing, made up of $4 billion of bonds and $2.5 billion of loans, Bloomberg reported. 

On Monday, Delta said it was looking to raise $6.5 billion through new bonds and loans backed by its SkyMiles loyalty program. Both would be backed by Delta’s frequent-flier program, a popular collateral pledge by United Airlines Holdings  (UAL) - Get Report.

Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a memo Tuesday that the airline was burning through about $750 million in cash a month, and passenger volumes are only 30% of what they were this time last year. 

Bastian said the SkyMiles transaction "is critical to our ability to protect Delta jobs and survive a long recovery period."

With the new financing, Delta doesn’t intend to take an additional loan backed by the U.S. government under the Cares Act.

Air travel has plummeted since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, as governments imposed lockdowns and social-distancing requirements and people stopped traveling.

Delta Air has said it won’t have to implement involuntary furloughs for its ground and flight attendant groups in the U.S.

The carrier declined to comment.