TWST: More recently, I believe the company has focused on strengthening its liquidity and its financial standing in what is clearly a challenging environment for all airlines. Talk a bit about those initiatives.
Ms. Goulet: As you said, it has been a very challenging environment in which to raise liquidity, but year-to-date, we have been very successful. We have raised substantially more than $5 billion year-to-date. Even during the first half of the year, when conditions were about as bad as they could get, we were able to arrange financing both for new delivery aircraft as well as for aircraft already in our fleet. And I think all of this is frankly testament to the fact that we have met our obligations as they have come due, as opposed to resorting to the bankruptcy courts as a number of our competitors have.
Things really got cranking early in the third quarter as the capital markets did begin to reopen. We raised about $800 million of financing in both public and private transactions secured by aircraft, again, already in our fleet or new aircraft that we will be taking delivery of. But the cornerstone of our efforts was laid in September, when we arranged $2.9 billion of financing with two of our long-time key business partners. The first of those is Citigroup (C). We did a $1 billion advance sale of AAdvantage miles with Citi. And then we did two transactions with General Electric (GE) – a $282 million loan facility secured by owned aircraft, and then we put in place with GE a $1.6 billion sale-leaseback commitment that will finance aircraft that we will take delivery of in 2010 and 2011. So those three transactions, the Citi transaction and the two GE transactions, totaled just about $2.9 billion.
Citigroup (C) to Approach $55 Per Share Over the Next 2 Years
October 15, 2012