British Airways Presells 100,000,000,000 Avios To American Express (£750M) & Considers Right Issuance

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British Airways is following Hilton (read more here) and Marriott (read more here) by preselling a bunch of Avios to American Express with a discount to get cash in.

British Airways BA747

The airline received £750M (I would expect this to represent roughly 100 billion issued Avios) from the credit card issuer. British Airways, according to the Financial Times, is also contemplating a right issuance of £2.75B to shore up its balance sheet.

Here’s the announcement from IAG (the parent of BA):

Download (PDF, 60KB)

Excerpt from the Financial Times:

British Airways owner IAG is considering launching a rights issue of up to €2.75bn to strengthen its balance sheet amid the coronavirus emergency.

The airline group said on Friday it was “evaluating the merits” of the capital raising, but said that no decision had been made as to whether or when to proceed with a rights issue.

IAG, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, issued the statement following a news report by Reuters that suggested the group was considering a potential rights issue.

Conclusion

Airlines and hotels have sold points and miles for credit card issuers, essentially borrowing against future revenues by offering a discount.

There is use for British Airways Avios, but there are more valuable airline miles currency out there that doesn’t require paying half of the fare in scam fees (fuel surcharges) when issuing award tickets.

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