International Consolidated Airlines Group PLC (LON:IAG) has confirmed recent media speculation regarding the possibility of the airlines operator undertaking an equity raise.

In a brief statement, the FTSE 100-listed group – the owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling – said it is “evaluating the merits of a rights issue of up to €2.75bn (£2.5bn) that would further strengthen IAG’s balance sheet”.

The company added, however, that no decision has been made as to whether or when to proceed with a rights issue.

It continued: “As detailed in its Q1 financial results announcement on 7 May, going into the crisis IAG had a strong balance sheet and liquidity with cash and undrawn facilities at 30 April of €10 billion. IAG has taken appropriate actions to strengthen its balance sheet and boost its liquidity position.”

The group said this figure includes monies from the announcement earlier on Friday that it has extended its global commercial air miles partnership with American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) and will receive a payment of approximately £750mln.

A significant part of that payment is a pre-purchase of ‘Avios’ points that American Express will use in the UK and worldwide for its British Airways co-branded cards and membership rewards programme, IAG had said in the earlier statement.

IAG, which is due to publish its first-half results next Friday, this week also agreed a reduced number of redundancies with its main pilots union, under a proposed pact that will enforce reduced pay and more part-time work for those who remain employed.

Shares in the Anglo-Iberian carrier were 4.3% lower at 199.60p on Friday, with 25 minutes to go until the London close.

  — Adds potential cash call statement, updates share price —