United mortgages MileagePlus loyalty scheme for US$5bn
United Airlines has said it expects to have total available liquidity of approximately $17 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2020.
The amount reflects a new $5 billion loan to be secured against the its loyalty program, MileagePlus.
United estimates the value of its Mileage Plus program as a standalone business at $20 billion.
The carrier gets revenue from partners who pay the airline to award miles to their own customers, such as credit card issues and hotels.
It had sales of $5.3 billion last year, about 12 per cent of overall revenue at United.
Also include in the figures are the $4.5 billion expected to be available to United through the CARES act.
The company believes it has sufficient slots, gates and routes collateral available to meet the collateral coverage that may be required for the full $4.5 billion available to the company under the program.
This $9.5 billion of additional liquidity will provide even more flexibility as the airline navigates the most disruptive financial crisis in the history of aviation.
Given the impact Covid-19 has had on travel demand, United has spent the past several months aggressively cutting costs.
Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, Barclays Bank PLC and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding have committed to provide, and have agreed to arrange the syndication of, the MileagePlus financing through a term loan facility, which is expected to close, subject to standard conditions precedent, by the end of July.
Goldman Sachs Lending Partners will act as the sole structuring agent and lead left arranger for the transaction.
MileagePlus has more than 100 million members, over 100 program partners, and is an essential asset for United.