Greek airline Aegean Airlines hopes to keep capacity at 70 to 80 percent for the September to December period, or identical to that of July and August. The airline reported improved results during the past months, but the outcome of the Covid-crisis, mutations, and vaccination remain risk factors, it said in its HY1-report on September 16. Aegean improves but remains worried.
Aegean reported an HY1 loss before taxes of €91.8 million compared to a €200.8 million loss in the same period last year. Revenues were €152.8 million versus €187.4 million. The carrier reduced its losses during the second quarter to €34.8 million from €88.5 million in 2020. Revenues were up by 168.8 percent to €108.6 million. A reduction in fixed costs resulted in a positive EBITDA of €3.9 million in Q2 compared to €-15.5 million in the same period of last year. For HY1, EBITDA was a negative €10.1 million versus €-49.6 million last year
Capacity was up from 34 percent in Q1 to 45 percent in Q2 and 59 percent in July, which has since then increased to 80 percent. Over the first six months, the airline carried 1.65 million passengers, of which 1.2 million in the second quarter. Domestic passengers accounted for 918.000. Passengers numbers are still a long way from 2019 levels when Aegean carried 6.5 million in the first six months. The airline notes that Greece’s flight performance was significantly higher compared to other countries as the country opened up to tourism again.
Aegean has €545.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, up from €478.4 million in December. It reduced debt by €94 million to €289.6 million. The airline restructured its bond loans and agreed with Greek banks on a new €120 million bond loan last April, which matures by the end of September 2022. In June, it raised €60 million by exercising pre-emptive rights and subscription rights while it raised its share capital by €12.2 million through the issuance of new shares. In June, Aegean received a government grant of €120 million to compensate the airline for losses during the pandemic in turn for warrants.
So while Aegean has improved its financial position, it is worried that the effects of the pandemic will result in a deep and prolonged economic crisis in Greece that will negatively impact leisure travel. Rising fuel prices are also a concern as is the risk of losing airport slots if the airline is required to operate at a lower capacity.
Neo fleet will grow by another 38 aircraft
Aegean Airlines has a fleet of 49 aircraft, with another twelve with Olympic Air and two with Aegean Cyprus, in which it has a 54.55 percent share. Only five aircraft are directly owned. It returned four Airbus A320ceo’s to the lessor, bringing the number to thirty. This will be reduced further as the carrier continues its fleet renewal with 46 A320neo-family aircraft following the June 2018 order for thirty neo’s plus direct lease agreements for another sixteen.
On June 30, it had five A320neo’s and three A321neo’s. The first A320neo was delivered in February 2020 while the first A321neo joined the airline in September 2020. The delivery schedule includes eight aircraft in 2022, seven in 2023, six in 2024, three in 2025, and four in 2026. Ten leased aircraft will join Aegean between 2021 and 2024. Nine deliveries scheduled for 2022 and 2023 are part of 12-year sale and leasebacks.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.