Air Canada Stays Afloat, Secures $100 Million Loan

Includes: ACDVF, GAPFF
by: FP Trading Desk

Air Canada (AIDIF.PK) has secured a C$100-million loan from Aeroplan (OTCPK:GAPFF), just one of many moves the embattled airliner must make to stay afloat and out of bankruptcy protection.

The deal, backed by Air Canada's stake in its vacation business, will give the struggling company a chance to meet upcoming debt covenants at the end of the second quarter of 2009, Chris Murray, CIBC World Markets analyst, said in a note Tuesday.

"The timing of the agreement is advantageous to Air Canada as it provides additional flexibility to the company," he said.

Air Canada has already drawn C$79-million from the loan, but also had to pay C$40-million back to Aeroplan, which runs the company's rewards program, due to an earlier agreement.

The company must raise C$600-million in new financing per agreements with its unions, but the temporary loan from Aeroplan is not considered part of this figure. Mr. Murray said interested lenders include GE, CIBC (NYSE:CM) and Export Development Canada.

He has Air Canada pegged as a Sector Performer.