Profitable first half for the first time in the airline's history
This year will be a record performance year for Aegean, with the first half of 2023 expected to be, for the first time in the airline's history, profitable. “This year we expect another record year with significantly improved results”, noted during yesterday's annual general meeting the president of the airline, Eftichis Vassilakis. He emphasized that Aegean has the required liquidity to buy the warrants acquired by the State in 2021 in exchange for its financial support.
During the first quarter of 2023, Aegean improved its aircraft occupancy rate to over 83%, while the capacity in available seats returned to 93%, which corresponds to pre-pandemic levels. The airline offers a total of 18 million seats this year, of which 11 million correspond to the foreign network and are 2 million more than in 2022. It operates to 165 destinations in 46 countries with 272 direct routes and with a fleet of 76 aircraft. “With the 2 million additional seats, Aegean is for 2023 the main supporter of the development of the transport project and the tourism product of our country”, said the managing director of Aegean, Dimitris Gerogiannis, yesterday. As he added, during the first half of the year, on an annual basis, Aegean carried 42% more passengers, whose total number reached 6.7 million people, and offered 8.7 million kilometer seats, which is by 34% more.
The improved occupancy leads to higher revenue per seat, with Aegean having since last March repaid all the loans taken during the pandemic. It also took delivery of a new Airbus A320neo aircraft in June relying only on cash and paid off a pre-existing loan linked to an A321neo aircraft. Therefore, as Mr. Gerogiannis clarified, the airline has 11 aircraft free of encumbrances or lease costs, up from just four at the end of 2019.
This year the airline has taken delivery of seven new aircraft of the neo family and is set to take delivery of two more in the coming days, bringing the total to 28 aircraft. The third and fourth quarters of the year will operate with 10% and 15% more mileage compared to 2022, aiming to spread the transport project to more areas, as well as lengthen the tourist season.
Investing in human resources, Aegean activated an annual reward program worth 8 million euros for approximately 400 of its executives, excluding executive board members.
Regarding the State warrants, which correspond to 10% of Aegean's capital, the airline has the required liquidity to proceed with their acquisition, paying the difference between the current value of the share and the price of 3.2 euros at which the capital increase of €60 million covered by private shareholders took place in 2021. “We are very proud that these warrants are worth much more than we all thought they would be. And so the Greek State can, indeed, having supported a company which contributes 400 million per year, essentially recover the major part of what it gave, if and when it decides to proceed with the exercise of its rights”, emphasized Mr. Vasilakis.
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