ECAs and the airline industry’s financial landscape

(IATA, London, 26 October 2023) Airline finances were a major focus at the World Financial and World Passenger Symposiums. Airlines generally raised more money than they needed during the pandemic and so have good liquidity on the whole, but it is estimated that the industry will need to invest about $5 trillion or some $175 billion per year to achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Yet the 2023 profit for airlines will be just $10 billion and that is following three years of heavy losses. Clearly, aviation will need to access finance to support its sustainability initiatives. Increasing demand and sustainability mean that money is being spent and airlines are reluctant to raise more capital at the moment because of the high interest rates. Airlines will therefore soon start to access finance again. It is expected that in the United States bond issuing markets will be the most active element. In China and Asia-Pacific, local banks will, as usual, be the main sources for financing while other areas will look more at sale and leaseback as well as export credit agencies.