British Airways has mortgaged 48 aircraft for a total of $750 million. The news was revealed in a filing made yesterday with Companies House. The aircraft are mostly from the airline’s short-haul fleet, with a handful from the long-haul fleet.
Airlines around the world are taking measures to ensure their long term viability amid the current pandemic. For example, earlier today, we reported that Cebu Pacific is looking to sell several Airbus A320s to lease them back. By mortgaging its aircraft, British Airways has secured $750 million in funds from Citibank.
What has been mortgaged?
According to British Airways’ filings yesterday, the airline has mortgaged a total of 48 aircraft with Citibank. These aircraft come from both the long-and-short-haul fleets. All of the aircraft are under 20 years old, with the two oldest being delivered in December 2000. The youngest aircraft is just four years old.
In total the following aircraft have been mortgaged:
- 2x Airbus A318-100s;
- 4x Airbus A319-100s;
- 24x Airbus A320-200s;
- 10x Airbus A321-200s;
- 5x Boeing 777-200ERs;
- 2x Boeing 777-300ERs;
- 1X Boeing 787-9.
An interesting point is the fact that the airline has mortgaged its two Airbus A318 aircraft. One was being used to ferry passengers between London City and New York on the airline’s Luxury BA1 flight. The other was acquired by UK charter airline Titan Airways.
According to a FlightGlobal article published three years ago, in addition to Planespotters, the two A318 aircraft are leased. However, yesterday’s registration of charge shows that the British flag carrier currently owns both.
An IAG spokesperson declined to comment on the mortgage when contacted by Simple Flying.
British Airways is currently in a period of consultation regarding its future. As such, the airline has floated some ideas that it is considering tol change the business going forward.
Some of the changes proposed have caused a lot of publicity for the British flag carrier. The airline previously revealed that it could make as many as 12,000 employees, or around a third of its workforce, redundant. Additionally, an internal memo showed that closing the Gatwick base was an option. However, IAG CEO Willie Walsh said he’d like for his airline group to retain a presence at the airport.
As pointed out by Head For Points, the proposals are not final, and a taste of what could be announced by the airline. The publication notes that the 45-day consultation period will end on June 15th. British Airways has seen a huge backlash on Twitter from those unhappy with the airline’s proposals.
The Unite union has written to the British flag carrier to ask that the threat of redundancy is removed to allow real discussions. Meanwhile, the British Airline Pilot Association is ‘fighting for every pilot job at British Airways.’
What do you make of British Airways mortgaging 48 aircraft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!