Air New Zealand (ANZ) is playing down reports that it needs another NZ$670 million ($294 million) this year to survive, following the unintentional release of an official forecast last week. Although the New Zealand government agreed last year to a NZ$885 million bail-out, its own advisers warned at the time that this would not be enough. The reports follow the release of a forecast by government advisers PA Consulting and Cameron & Co which says that ANZ would require capitalisation of NZ$1.7 billion, leaving a shortfall of NZ$670 million after the government's additional pledge of NZ$150 million. The report implies the money is needed in this financial year. ANZ company secretary John Blair says the airline needs to reduce debt to 65% of enterprise value (debt plus equity) over an extended period, not just in the coming year. Gearing (measured by debt to debt plus equity) is now 78%.

Source: Flight International