Aegean more than doubled its turnover and passenger traffic abroad in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
According to a company announcement, the Group offered 4.6 million seats and carried 3.3 million passengers in total, with traffic amounting to 1.5 million passengers on the domestic network and 1.8 million passengers on the foreign network. The occupancy rate for the period was 70.3%, improved compared to the third quarter of 2020, which was 65.7%, but still significantly lower than the pre-pandemic occupancy rate of 87 , 7%, in the corresponding period of 2019. Consolidated revenues amounted to 333.9 million euros, increased by 115% compared to the third quarter of 2020.
Organic Profit before Tax on a comparable basis, amounted to 58.8 million euros in the third quarter of 2021 from Losses before Tax amounting to 36.9 million euros in the third quarter of 2020.
“It is important to note that the third quarter of 2021 is the first quarter since the start of the pandemic that the Group records organic profitability, offering 76% of the capacity in kilometer positions (ASK’s) compared to the corresponding pre-pandemic third quarter of 2019” is noted in a relevant announcement of the company.
During this period the company operated with direct flights abroad from its bases in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Chania, Corfu, Mykonos, and Larnaca, supporting the gradual return to normalcy and the tourist product of the country. In the first nine months of 2021, which includes the effect of the second lockdown that lasted until the beginning of May 2021, significantly reducing the company’s activity during the first half, the turnover amounted to revenues of 486.8 million euros, 42% higher than in nine months of 2020.
The Group carried 5 million passengers from 4.4 million in the first nine months of 2020, while pre-tax losses on a comparable organic basis amounted to 32.9 million euros compared to 237.7 million pre-tax losses in the corresponding period of 2020. Upon the completion of the share capital increase of 60 million euros in June 2021, which was a condition for the completion of the process, the Company received in early July 2021 the EU-approved state aid for the partial restoration of the damage due to the pandemic for 2020. In the total result of the quarter, the amount of aid reduced by the fair value of the warrants given to the Greek State was recognized.
In addition, an impairment provision relating to the restructuring of the aircraft fleet was recognized. The total effect of the three aforementioned factors amounted to total non-recurring income of € 62.7 million which is not included in the above organic profit data for the quarter / nine months.
Taking into account the above extraordinary non-organic income, Profit before Tax amounted to 121.5 million euros in the third quarter of 2021 and 29.8 million euros in the nine months of 2021. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to 543.5 million on 30.09.2021, despite the significant increase in advances to Airbus in the third quarter ($ 43 million) for upcoming aircraft receipts, as well as the repayment of loans amounting to 92 million euros. After repayment, the total amount of bonds and loans amounted to 344 million euros on 30/9/2021 from 440 million euros on 31/12/2020.
Mr. Dimitris Gerogiannis, CEO, stated in this regard: “We have effectively utilized the returning demand of our country and the gradual lifting of restrictions. Once again we have adapted our program flexibly, responding to opportunities from large markets such as Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria, but also to markets with significant constraints such as England, Russia, the Scandinavian countries and Israel. We have completed the process of raising our funds and accelerated the advances to Airbus for the immediate receipt of 22 additional new aircraft of the A320 / 321 neo family for 2022-2023, strengthening the competitiveness of the company and the services to our passengers. We managed our operating costs effectively. Despite the partial, 75%, utilization of our fleet, but also the backlog in fullness in relation to the pre-pandemic sizes of 2019, we managed to be one of the few listed airlines in Europe, which presented a positive strong demand in the third quarter. The pandemic is of course still here and its challenges are great, especially this coming winter, which in our country is under normal conditions weak in demand. However, we believe that 2022 will be stronger, already from the second quarter of the year, allowing us better quality of operation and better return on the evolving investments of fleet upgrade and services.”
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