June 2, 2020 / 2:35 PM / a month ago

Air Canada raises nearly C$1.6 billion amid COVID-19 pandemic

FILE PHOTO: An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 from San Francisco approaches for landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport over a parked Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) - Air Canada (AC.TO) said on Tuesday it raised nearly C$1.6 billion through an offering of shares and convertible senior notes to strengthen its cash flow amid the coronavirus crisis.

Airlines, including Air Canada, have been among the worst hit as coronavirus-led travel bans resulted in thousands of flight cancellations, forcing carriers to cut jobs and costs as sales dried up.

“This important financing will allow us to keep our strong relative position and better manage debt leverage and risk as government restrictions are lifted and the market recovers,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Rousseau said in a statement.

Rousseau said last month Air Canada was seeing fewer cancellations and an improvement in demand for air travel as lockdowns eased.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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