United Airlines uses MileagePlus programme to secure liquidity

United Airlines is expecting to raise US$17 billion in liquidity by the end of September 2020, part of which will be brought by leveraging on its MileagePlus loyalty programme to secure a US$5 billion loan, in efforts that will help it weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 sporting the carrier's new livery. Photo by Matt Lino | AeroNewsX

In addition to the US$17 billion in liquidity, the airline expects to receive an additional US$4.5 billion in cash from the government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act loan program.

In a statement released on Monday, United said: "Given the impact COVID-19 has had on travel demand, United has spent the past several months aggressively and proactively cutting costs."

United hopes to reduce its cash burn from approximately US$40 million per day in June 2020 to about US$30 million per day in September 2020. The airline has reduced the company's expenditure, suspended raises, freezed hiring, introduced a voluntary lay-off programme and has initiated pay cuts for all executives. Both the airline's Chief Executive and the President are not taking salaries at this time.

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