Published on February 8th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer0
Aer Lingus Secures €150m Funding
Aer Lingus is reported to have secured €150m funding from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). The three year loan will help the airline as it struggles with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline industry. The ISIF is controlled and managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), it is a flexible, long-term, sovereign investment partner with a unique mandate. In May 2020, following a review by the Minister for Finance of potential supports for Ireland’s economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, a €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund (PSRF) was established. The PSRF is to provide stabilisation capital to act as an enabler for otherwise viable medium and large enterprises that are experiencing trading or liquidity difficulties caused by Covid-19. It will also support and accelerate economic recovery and growth more widely, with a particular focus on ISIF’s Priority Themes.
A spokesperson for the National Treasury Management Agency, said when speaking about the loan “It’s goal is to strengthen the airline’s liquidity position over three years. ISIF and Aer Lingus have agreed commercial terms on the structure, pricing, and repayment of the loan that are consistent with ISIF’s statutory ‘double bottom line’ mandate to invest in businesses and projects on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.”
The deal with Aer Lingus is reported to have been completed in the final quarter of 2020. Speaking about the investments made by the ISIF following the outbreak of the pandemic, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, said, “During 2020, the ISIF continued to support economic activity and employment in Ireland despite the challenges of a global pandemic. In fact, since the Government’s decision to establish the Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund, over 90% of ISIF’s commitments have backed businesses directly impacted by COVID-19. This has made the Fund an important component in the Government’s support measures for Irish businesses. Over a uniquely challenging period, ISIF’s €430 million in investments in 2020 means that it has now made investments totalling €5 billion attracting private sector co-investment totalling €8.6 billion. ISIF’s successful investment strategy will help to drive Ireland’s economic recovery by enabling strategically important businesses to not only survive the crisis but also to recover and regain longer term momentum.”
As we reported last November, Aer Lingus have applied for slots from Manchester to operate transatlantic flights but as yet, no further announcements on the plans or confirmation of routes has been confirmed. They will base one Airbus A330 and up to three Airbus A321LR’s in Manchester to operate routes expected to be on the US east coast and to Orlando in Florida. These plans may be temporarily placed on hold as there is no sign of the US government relaxing their entry requirements in the wake of the extensive COVID-19 cases across the US.