HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered, Santander and Citi are among the 11 banks in the syndicate that has extended a £2 billion (£2.8 billion) guaranteed loan facility to IAG-owned British Airways, Cirium understands.

The six banks are the lead arrangers in a previously announced five-year loan facility partially guaranteed by the UK Export Finance (UKEF), a source says.

IAG received commitments for the loan at the end of 2020. In a regulatory filing dated 22 February 2021, the group says BA plans to draw down the loan before the end of the month.

Separately, BA has also secured the deferral of £450 million of contributions to a legacy pension scheme.

These payments, to the New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS), had been due between October 2020 and September 2021.

Under a recovery scheme aimed at filling a £2.4 billion hole in the scheme, as calculated at the end of March 2018, BA has paid £1.34 billion in contributions to NAPS, including £263 million in 2020.

The carrier has now agreed with the trustees of the scheme that the £450 million of accumulated contributions plus interest will be added to the end of the current scheme, set to conclude in March 2023.

BA has agreed to provide property assets as security.

No dividends will be paid by the Oneworld carrier to IAG before the end of 2023. From 2024, any dividends paid will be matched by contributions to NAPS of 50% of the value of dividends paid.

A new recovery plan will be based on the triennial valuation as at 31 March 2021. If a new recovery plan has not been agreed by 30 September, the default position is that BA will return to making payments of £37.5 million per month from October 2021.