El Al improves Q2 cash to $121.9m after $42.1m in debt payments

Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Israeli flag-carrier El Al improved its second-quarter cash balance to $121.9 million from $109.5 million in the year-earlier period after paying down debt, including aircraft purchases.

El Al invested $75 million in fixed assets during the quarter, in addition to its "prior financing" for Boeing 737-900 aircraft, according to an earnings statement today.

The carrier also repaid current loans totalling $42.1 million and obtained loans of $45.6 million, "mainly for the purchase of fixed assets."

El Al reached a financing agreement during the quarter with a "foreign bank", which will offer a loan of $190 million to purchase four 737-900 aircraft.

The aircraft, which are backed by US Export-Import Bank guarantees, are due to enter service beginning in October 2013.

According to the carrier, the transaction has "innovative characteristics" as a result of the "issuance of the guarantees in the US financial markets within a period of one year - a substitute for the loan from the foreign bank." The 737-900s are part of a six-aircraft purchase deal with options for two more units, say El Al.

The carrier continues to reduce the number of Boeing aircraft types it operates. "During the coming months we plan to remove the fleet of 767-200s, bringing the number of aircraft types we operate to four only (reduced from seven, that included our 747-200s, the 757s and the 767-200s)," says the carrier.

Cash flow from regular activities during the quarter totalled $47.8 million, compared with $14.1 million last year.

Carrier equity at quarter-end totalled $107 million.