easyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) has said it will continue to look at further funding opportunities after drumming up a total of US$771mln (£608mln) from the sale and leaseback of 23 aeroplanes.
When it announced the sale and leaseback plans three months ago, the budget airline had said it expected to generate £500mln-650mln.
The leasing arm of China’s Bank of Communications agreed the final transaction, buying and leasing back five Airbus A321neo planes for US$266mln (£203mln) in cash, slightly less than its last agreement.
“The proceeds of the sale will be used to maximise liquidity and further strengthen easyJet's financial position,” the FTSE 250-listed company said in a statement, noting that the book value of the aircraft was roughly £167mln.
After the completion of these deals, around half of easyJet’s fleet of aircraft are now fully owned with the remainder rented.
The airline noted that it has raised more than £2.4bn since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic but said it “will continue to review its liquidity position on a regular basis and will continue to assess any further funding opportunities”.
Travel companies and Francophile holidaymakers faced more bad news overnight as the UK government announced that France, where around 500,000 people from the UK are thought to be on holiday, will be added to the quarantine list from 4am on Saturday morning.