Brazilian carrier Azul has restructured its payment schedule with aircraft leasing firms which will including cutting operating lease outgoings by more than three-quarters over the last nine months of 2020.

Its arrangements mean it will benefit from working capital relief amounting to R$3.2 billion ($595 million) by the end of 2021.

The airline says the operating lease payments over April-December this year will fall by 77% to R$566 million.

Azul says it has reached agreements covering 98% of its operating lease liabilities and it is continuing talks with the remainder.

It says it has aligned the payment schedule with a “conservative demand-recovery scenario”.

The lower lease rates over the duration of the recovery will be offset by “slightly” higher rates from 2023, it adds.

Total lease liability will fall by more than 20% this year, to R$12.5 billion, the company says.

Chief financial officer Alex Malfitani says the agreement is an “important step” towards Azul’s recovery, given than lessors account for 80% of its overall debt.

Azul has a fleet of more than 140 aircraft, mainly comprising Airbus A330s, A320neos, ATR 72s and Embraer 195s.

Azul E195-E2

Source: Embraer