Thursday, July 18, 2024


The transaction involved a start-up airline that planned on servicing a new attraction destination in upstate New York. The airline needed funding to lease their initial jets, and pay for uniforms, printed materials, advertising and numerous other expenses. They had just completed their first round of funding and realized that they would soon have a shortfall in capital to cover their start-up expenses. The airline completed a $22 million barter transaction in exchange for unsold seats as well as an equity position in the airline. They planned on using the trade credits they received to supplement the cash they had received from investors, and reduce their cash requirements for spending.

Airlines and other transportation companies all have empty unsold future capacity - seats that can be sold on barter, in exchange for a bank of trade credits. The trade credits are then used just like cash, can be accounted for as a prepaid expense, and are used to offset or reduce cash requirements in purchasing, or for capital expenses.