KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd (AAGB) has received the approval from Danajamin Nasional Berhad (Danajamin) for an 80% guaranteed loan of up to RM500mil, which will put the low-cost carrier on a firmer position to boost its operations.
In a statement on Tuesday, the low-cost carrier said the loan was under the Danajamin Prihatin Guarantee Scheme, which is part of Malaysia’s Economic Stimulus Package following the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19.
It added the loan has been approved by AAGB’s lenders under a club deal term financing (club facility).
AAGB said there will be a guarantee to be provided for the club facility by Danajamin via Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP), a unit of the Ministry of Finance.
The guarantee from the Government of Malaysia via Danajamin/SJPP is a strong signal of support for AAGB as the Group gears up to ensure it is in a robust position to once again serve the nation and the communities it operates to, playing a key role in rebuilding the economy, as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The financing under the Club Facility is earmarked for working capital purposes, which will support staff costs and key operating expenses such as aircraft maintenance as AAGB prepares to ramp up its operations leading up to the re-opening of interstate and international borders in the near future.
AirAsia’s executive chairman, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, said: "AirAsia has been a major contributor to the Malaysian economy by providing connectivity to facilitate tourism, trade and investment activities.
“We have also been pivotal in generating a significant number of job opportunities and empowering local SMEs, especially through our digital ventures.
“This approval from the Malaysian government is a strong endorsement of AirAsia Group’s ability to recover fast and provides a welcome boost to our overall fundraising strategy as we prepare to return to the skies in all of our key markets.
“Countries around the world, including those in the region have begun to reopen international borders amid promising progress in vaccination rates. Malaysia’s adult vaccination rate is close to 90%, and domestic interstate movements will be allowed once we reach that milestone.
“The Langkawi travel bubble has been a huge success with overwhelming demand since we launched up to 90 services a week from 16 September.
“In Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, we are seeing pleasing progress as services have gradually started to resume. As countries in the region continue to discuss and implement travel bubbles and to gradually reopen international borders, we are confident that we will be able to recover and rebound strongly in the near future.”