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Delta Boosts Size of Planned Debt Offering: Report

By Lou Whiteman – Apr 27, 2020 at 4:47PM

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The airline is seeing strong demand for its debt.

Delta Air Lines (DAL 3.47%) is seeing such strong demand for its debt that the airline is boosting a planned offering by $2 billion, helping to shore up its balance sheet as it deals with plunging travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, say reports.

Last week, Delta announced plans to raise $3 billion in new debt, including $1.5 billion in new senior secured notes, part of the airline's larger plan to raise money, cut costs, and weather what could be a prolonged travel slowdown. During its first quarter earnings call last week, Delta said it was seeking to raise additional funds in an attempt to bring its total liquidity up to $10 billion by the end of the current quarter, up from $6 billion on March 31.

A Delta A321 landing at an airport.

Image source: Delta Air Lines.

On Monday the Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, reports that Delta is now seeking to take advantage of strong demand for the debt and is aiming to raise $5 billion.

In recent weeks, airlines have found a variety of ways to raise capital, with most of the U.S. carriers accessing U.S. government funds to help meet payroll and some, including United Airlines Holdings, turning to equity markets. With shares of Delta down 60% year to date, raising new debt appears more attractive than issuing additional shares.

It's likely going to take three years, if not longer, for travel demand to return to pre-pandemic levels. Airlines and their investors for now are hoping that as the pandemic is contained traffic will at least turn to more normalized recessionary levels, but Delta for now expects second quarter revenue to fall 90% year over year.

Lou Whiteman owns shares of Delta Air Lines. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Delta Air Lines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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