Founder David Neeleman has reduced the number of non-voting preferred shares he holds in Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Sao Paulo Viracopos) to 0.62% after banks executed a margin call on a personal loan.

According to the Brazilian carrier, Neeleman had entered into a personal loan of USD30 million in 2019, pledging his equity in the airline as collateral, "since he had no intention of selling his shares because of his belief in the Company's potential". The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused banks to trigger the margin call, which ended up in the sale of the shares.

"Given the speed of the developments and the fact that David had other investments in the sector with no liquidity including TAP Air Portugal (TP, Lisbon) and Breeze Airways (MXY, Salt Lake City), there was no time to access other sources of capital," the statement said.

As a result, Neeleman's number of non-voting preferred shares dropped from 11.4 million (3.34% of this class of shares) to 2.1 million (0.62%). The number of voting rights has not changed. Neeleman holds 67% of all of Azul's common shares along with a 3% economic interest in the airline.