After Failed Takeover, Air Transat Seeks Help as Debt Crunch Looms

Struggling tour operator Air Transat is in talks with the federal government on aid but may not reach a deal by an April debt deadline, a source close to the situation said, putting pressure on Quebec to ride to the rescue of another troubled aerospace brand in the province, Reuters reported. Air Canada dropped its merger plans with Transat on Friday, saying European regulators had signaled it was unlikely to pass antitrust concerns. Canada’s largest carrier first bid for Transat in 2019 and discounted its offer last year as the pandemic decimated the travel and tourism sector. Airlines have been in talks with Ottawa since last year about a possible aid package. Transat’s aborted deal adds fresh urgency to the talks, given the jobs at risk if the carrier fails and the political importance of Quebec ahead of an expected federal election this year. Transat, which last month suspended flights until June due to pandemic guidelines, has said it needs at least C$500 million in financing this year. It has obligations due on April 29 for a $50 million revolving facility and a C$250 million short-term loan that matures on June 30. If it does not meet the April 29 requirements, or obtain another extension, creditors could accelerate the repayment obligation. Read more.
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