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Onex Corp., WestJet's parent organization, posts US$1.1-billion loss

  • Air
  •   05-19-2020  8:40 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Onex Corp., WestJet's parent organization, posts US$1.1-billion loss
Pax Global Media

Onex Corp. posted a $1.1 billion (USD) loss in its first quarter due to market and economic disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As I look back over our 36 years in business, I realize that Onex has seen wars, recessions and, yes, even pandemics,” CEO Gerry Schwartz said on a conference call with analysts on Friday (May 15th). “COVID-19 may be the worst. But I have enormous confidence in our team to navigate through the challenges ahead.”

The investment management firm reported net earnings of $195 million a year earlier. 

The coronavirus crisis has crippled markets everywhere and the some $985 million of Onex's losses represent a decline in value of its portfolio investments. 

Losses are linked to plummeting revenues from Parkdean Resorts, a holiday park operator in the United Kingdom, and WestJet Airlines, which Onex acquired last year. 

Onex’s $3.5-billion takeover of WestJet was completed in December, just three months before the travel industry pressed pause as borders closed and government-imposed restrictions were introduced.

Earlier this week, WestJet announced that it was extending flight suspensions into early July. 

The Calgary-based carrier revealed that domestic route suspensions will continue through July 4th, and that several of its domestic seasonal routes also won't begin until July.

READ MORE: WestJet extends flight suspensions into July as passenger numbers plummet

The carrier also confirmed that it was extending its temporary transborder and international route suspensions through to June 25th.

In a previous interview, WestJet CEO Ed Sims said the COVID-19 crisis has forced the carrier to make tough decisions, such as what the size of its fleet may look like in the coming years.

Sims suggested the airline may never return to the size it was before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, as reported by the Calgary Herald.

As of March 31st, Onex had about $6 billion in shareholder capital under management.

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