Virgin Atlantic has announced a £32m increase to its landmark senior secured note transaction. Secured using the airline’s take-off and landing slot portfolio at London Heathrow, the full value of the notes now total £252m.
The initial transaction, announced just over a year ago, remains the only one of its kind in Europe, receiving numerous awards in recognition of the innovative financing structure that allows the use of airport slots in this way.
Proceeds of the financing will support Virgin Atlantic’s long term investment programme, including a fleet modernisation which sees all of its aircraft replaced in a decade – giving Virgin Atlantic one of the world’s youngest fleets. In 2016 the airline confirmed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, of which it is purchasing eight outright.
Virgin Atlantic Group Treasurer, Nathan Dunton said:
“We are very pleased with the continued investor interest in this asset class. This innovative transaction has allowed us continued access to the value of our Heathrow slot portfolio in a way no other airline has done before.”
The transaction originally attracted participation from four blue chip investors including Pension Insurance Corporation plc, a client of Hastings Fund Management (UK), Standard Life Investments and Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (UK) Limited. Macquarie Corporate and Asset Finance acted as sole arranger.
The announcement follows two profitable years for Virgin Atlantic, which will release its 2016 annual results in March and is expected to post a third successive profitable year.