Minsheng Leasing rescues Viva Aerobus SLB deal: AFJ LATAM 2020 | News | Airfinance Journal

Minsheng Leasing rescues Viva Aerobus SLB deal: AFJ LATAM 2020

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Viva Aerobus secured financing for four Airbus A320-family aircraft deliveries earlier this year after the original lessor pulled out of the deal, chief financial officer Jose Golffier has revealed at the Airfinance Journal LATAM 2020 virtual conference.

“We have taken two deliveries and will receive one aircraft in September and the final one in October or November,” he says.

Golffier reveals that some of this year’s deliveries were agreed last year in the sale and leaseback (SLB) market but the operating lessor that was mandated pulled away because of the pandemic risk.

“We were able to get new financing during the pandemic. We closed a new financing with Minsheng. They were very responsive, supportive and agreed on the new terms very fast,” he says.

The four aircraft are expected to generate around $34 million of short-term inflows for Viva Aerobus.

Golffier says there are no further cashflow requirements for pre-delivery payments (PDPs) this year after the carrier rescheduled its orderbook with Airbus over the next two years.

The carrier now has four deliveries in 2020, versus six units initially.

In 2021 Viva Aerobus is expected to receive three A321neo aircraft instead of five.

This represents around $78 million lower PDPs for the carrier to pay through the end of 2021.

Golffier says SLB financing remains at the “top of the list” but reveals that the carrier may consider alternative sources of financing.

Among those are Japanese operating leases with call options (Jolcos). “Last year we did our first Jolco transaction,” he reveals, but adds that the transaction could not close because of the pandemic.

Viva Aerobus may also opt for export credit guarantee financing, according to him.

The carrier also plans to tap the Mexican debt capital markets by the end of this year with a MXN1 billion ($48 million) issuance as part of its MXN3 billion programme.

The carrier benefits from two programmes. It has a MXN1.5 billion short-term programme from which it had drawn MXN1.37 billion by August.

From its MXN3 billion long-term programme, MXN2 billion had been drawn as of August.

“The Mexican capital markets were closed for a few months during the pandemic,” Golffier says, adding: “Hopefully we will tap in November of December this year to get the additional MXN1 billion.”

Viva Aerobus ended the first half with $125 million of cash.

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