ATHENS – Greece’s largest carrier Aegean Airlines, rated Best Regional Airline in Europe for seven straight years, has raised 200 million euros ($224.20 million) from a bond offering with investors eager to put money into the company’s plan to renew its fleet.
Aegean, a member of the Star Alliance airline group, will use 75 percent of the proceeds to partly finance down payments on new aircraft based on a deal with Airbus for smaller, single-aisle planes and add capacity for future expansion, the news agency Reuters said.
Aegean picked Airbus in March last year for an order of up to 42 aircraft worth $5 billion in one of the biggest investments by a private Greek company since the country’s debt crisis erupted in 2010 and with the company booming over its reputation.
The bond issue was 2.6 times oversubscribed with 60 percent allocated to private investors and the remainder to “qualified” investors.
The carrier plans to use 14 percent of the proceeds or up to 27.5 million euros ($30.84 million) to build a new 12,000-square-meter training center with flight simulators for its flight crews at the Athens International Airport (AIA). About 11 percent of the proceeds or up to 21.6 million euros ($24.23 million) will be used as working capital, the report added.