Greek flag carrier Aegean Airlines has today released its full-year financial results for 2020. The carrier posted a €228 million ($271 million) net loss for the full year and saw a 74% reduction in revenue during Q4 due to Europe’s second lockdown. We’ve looked at the results in more detail.
Results reflect a difficult year
The Greek carrier’s results haven’t come as a huge surprise. Like all airlines, Aegean struggled last year due to a massive drop in demand and long-standing travel restrictions. Aegean’s financial results for 2020 show that when Greece introduced domestic travel restrictions for November and December, traffic declined by as much as 85%. Over the full year, traffic was down 77% compared to 2019.
In 2019, Aegean had €1.3 billion ($1.5billion) in revenues compared to just €415.1 million ($494 million) for 2020. Passengers carried dropped by 65% year-on-year from 15 million passengers to 5.1 million. From the beginning of the pandemic in April to the end of the year, the load factor fell from 85% in 2019 to 62% in 2020.
While other international airlines started to see improvements towards the end of the year, Aegean was subject to the second set of strict travel restrictions introduced across Europe. The new restrictions led to a 74% revenue reduction in Q4 and a 61% drop in the number of flights operated during the period.
Overall, the airline’s net loss of €228 million ($271 million) is indicative of the difficult year faced by all airlines. Aegean did scrape together €415 million ($494 million) in revenues over the year. Of the total amount, just €72 million ($85 million) was earned in the fourth quarter. At the end of the year, Aegean had €478.4 million ($557 million) of cash or cash-equivalent assets.
Despite a difficult year that ended with a tough Q4, Aegean CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis has a positive outlook for 2021. In a statement included with the results, he said,
“We expect gradual but significant recovery in H2 2021 and onwards, provided that the recently improved vaccination rate continues, and the EU digital green passport is implemented successfully no later than the end of June”.
However, Q1 of this year is likely to be a tough time. Restrictions are still in place across much of Europe and domestically, making recovery difficult. However, the airline is still looking forward to receiving a new aircraft in May. Aegean’s fourth A321neo should arrive in May.
Most of Aegean’s network is based on domestic flights around the mainland and to many of the Greek Islands, as well as flights to destinations in Europe such as Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, and London. With European restrictions in place, recovery will be hard for the airline.
However, when Europe opens up international travel, we could see a large number of Europeans choosing Greece as a vacation destination. Experts think an intra-Europe travel boom is likely as short0haul routes will recovering faster than long-haul international routes. As Mr Gerogiannis pointed out, the EU digital green passport will be a huge boost not only to Aegean but for all European airlines.
Do you think European airlines can start thinking about recovery? Are airlines like Aegean right to rely on the new EU digital green passport? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.