Malaysia's AirAsia X Assures Recovery for Lessors in New Restructuring Proposal

Malaysian long-haul budget airline AirAsia X Bhd has proposed a separate restructuring programme for its aircraft lessors that aims to tackle their concerns, citing chance to recover rental losses, a document seen by Reuters shows. The airline, an affiliate of AirAsia Group, has for months been trying to reconstitute 64.15 billion ringgit ($15.89 billion) of debt into 200 million ringgit of debt. More than a dozen creditors, mostly lessors, had intervened in court to challenge a proposal that would have meant a haircut for them of 99.7%. The new proposal for lessors is a key step as the airline looks to win creditors’ approval for its restructuring. The proposal seeks to address lessors’ concerns about their forward commercial agreements and the viability of the airline’s business after recapitalisation, according to the document, which comprises slides describing the plan. Under the revised proposal, AAX said lessors are expected to recover at least 60% of what they are owed. A person familiar with the matter said the earlier descriptions of the debt haircut were inaccurate as they “excluded returns from ongoing leases”, referring to recovery of rental losses and outstanding debt. AAX urged lessors to agree to a “pre-packaged lock-up” deal to expedite the restructuring process. Read more.