JetBlue announced that on August 27th, it raised over $115 million by securing 25 Airbus A321s. The airline used pass-through certificates to raise the money with interest payable semiannually on May 15th and November 15th. Final payments will be due in 2027.
Securing aircraft for funding
The total amount JetBlue raised was $115,584,000, secured by 25 Airbus A321s. The pass-through certificates are notes that JetBlue issues to creditors. In exchange, the notes are secured by certain assets, in this case, aircraft.
The 25 Airbus A321s that JetBlue has secured are:
- N976JT “Mint to Soar” (with Mint)
- N978JB “Menta Azul” (with Mint)
- N979JT “Eeny Minty Miney Mo” (with Mint)
- N981JT “The Royal TreatMint” (with Mint)
- N980JT “Taking a Menta Health Day) (with Mint)
- N982JB “One Mint, Two Mint, Blue Mint, You Mint” (with Mint)
- N984JB “Suave Menta” (with Mint)
- N983JT “M*I*N*T” (with Mint)
- N986JB “Mike India November Tango” (with Mint)
- N985JT “Minterial Girl” (with Mint)
- N988JT “Menta-Licious” (with Mint)
- N987JT “Sky’s the LiMint” (with Mint)
- N990JL “Seize the MoMint” (with Mint)
- N989JT “Freshly Minted” (with Mint)
- N991JT “Catch Mint If You Can” (with Mint)
- N993JE “Fly Like You Mint It” (with Mint)
- N992JB “The EleMint of Surprise” (with Mint)
- N994JL “P.S. I Love Blue”
- N995JL “New Number, Blue Dis?”
- N996JL “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Bluetiful”
- N997JL “Blues That Girl?”
- N998JE “Blue If By Air”
- N999JQ “Midnight Blue”
- N973JT “Unforgettably Blue”
- N977JE “The LiMint Does Not Exist” (with Mint)
All of these jets are from three to two years old, with the oldest delivered new to JetBlue in February 2017 and the last being delivered fresh to the airline in December 2018. The airline raised between $4.3 to $4.9 million from each aircraft.
No change for passengers
Passengers will not notice the difference. The 18 jets with the airline’s lie-flat Mint product will continue to offer that hard product and the airline’s standard onboard services. The remaining seven aircraft lack Mint and are in an all-economy configuration. JetBlue will continue to own the aircraft. The only issues that could arise are if JetBlue defaults on its payment, which is unlikely.
A common practice
It is quite common for airlines to raise financing by securing aircraft. Amidst the ongoing crisis, airlines have been finding ways to raise cash and bolster their liquidity position. Almost all major airlines took funding from the federal government for payroll support, and others took on separate loans. Many airlines have also turned to the private market for funding. For example, Alaska Airlines raised over $1.1 billion earlier this year by securing 61 aircraft. American Airlines raised funding by securing slots, gates, and routes.
Back in June, JetBlue pledged slots at airports in New York and Washington D.C. to raise some additional cash. In the second quarter, JetBlue lost nearly half a billion dollars. The goal for the airline now is to focus on building up its liquidity position and emerging from the crisis so it can enact a robust post-crisis network recovery plan.
Do you think an airline raising cash by securing aircraft is a great idea? Let us know in the comments!