Flight Centre Lengthens “Liquidity Runway”

Travel group Flight Centre has lengthened what it called in its interim results last week its “liquidity runway” by $90 million to more than $1.2 billion.

The latest addition comes from the British government’s COVID-19 emergency finance scheme, which the travel group says will help it save jobs as it continues to face “significant challenges” due to the pandemic.

Flight Centre took a £56 million ($100 million) 12-month loan through the Bank of England’s COVID Corporate Financing Facility. This program operated by the UK Treasury supports short-term liquidity for UK companies significantly disrupted by the pandemic.

The company on Tuesday said its loan, due to end this month, had been extended through to March 2022 with another £50 million ($90 million) added to the facility.

“While some positive signs are emerging, the travel, tourism and aviation industries still face significant challenges while widespread travel restrictions are in place,” Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said in a statement.

“We thank the Bank of England for its ongoing and proactive support, which will help businesses save jobs and weather the near-term challenges.“

In its half-year results last week, Flight centre revealed that it had more than $1.2 billion in liquidity as of December 31, including the initial $100 million Bank of England loan.  Now that’s closer to $1.3 billion.

The ‘liquidity runway was bolstered by liquidity was bolstered the sale of the company’s Melbourne office sale, a debt restructure and a $400million convertible note issue.

Flight Centre shares closed down 2.5% at $16.62.


Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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