First group of creditors backs AirAsia X restructuring plan

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Malaysian long-haul low-cost airline AirAsia X (AAX) said on Friday that 100% of the first of three groups of creditors had agreed to a restructuring scheme that proposes to pay just 0.5% of debt owed and to terminate all existing contracts.

FILE PHOTO: Air Asia airplanes are pictured on the haze-shrouded tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 in Sepang, Malaysia, September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

The three different classes of creditors, which include Airbus SE, BOC Aviation Ltd and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, have all voted in favour of the plan, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

An AirAsia X spokesperson declined to comment on the Bloomberg report, saying voting was ongoing.

AAX last month said the airline faced liquidation if creditors did not agree to the restructuring of 33.65 billion ringgit ($8.1 billion) of liabilities.

It is one of many carriers in the Asia-Pacific region to have entered a court-overseen debt restructuring process to survive the pandemic. Others include Malaysia Airlines, Virgin Australia, Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines.

AAX needs 75% of each of the three classes of creditors to approve the plan for it to proceed.

The first class of AAX creditors includes airports, financial institutions and maintenance providers, according to a 127-page explanatory statement for the creditors meeting seen by Reuters.

The second class includes engine suppliers, lessors, trade creditors, travel agents and passengers, the document said, while Airbus, the largest creditor, is the only one in the third class.

Half of the airline’s total liability is the cost of terminating airplane orders from Airbus for 78 A330neo widebodies and 30 A321neo narrowbodies, the document said.

AAX also said it is in negotiations with lessors of 29 planes and certain other creditors on commercial terms for continued or future business relationships.

($1 = 4.1665 ringgit)

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