This was Aegean's first profitable quarter since the beginning of the pandemic.
AEGEAN reported €333,9 million consolidated revenues recording an increase of 115% compared with the third quarter of 2020.
In the nine-month period of 2021, which included the effect of the second lockdown that restricted significantly activity for the first half of the year, consolidated revenue stood at €486,8 mil., 42% higher than the respective period in 2020.
Following the introduction of EU Digital COVID Certificate and the easing of travel restrictions during the third quarter of 2021, AEGEAN operated with increased capacity and managed to double its revenue and international passenger traffic compared with the third quarter of 2020.
The Group offered 4,6 mil. seats and carried 3,3 mil. passengers with domestic traffic reaching 1,5 mil. passengers and international traffic 1,8 mil. passengers. Load factor for the period stood at 70,3%, higher than the third quarter of 2020, which stood at 65,7%, but significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels of 87,7% in the corresponding period in 2019.
Consolidated revenues amounted to €333,9 mil., an increase of 115% compared with the third quarter of 2020. Headline profit before taxes on a comparable basis amounted to €58,8 mil. in the third quarter of 2021 from losses before taxes totalling €36,9 mil. in the third quarter of 2020.
It is important to note that . During this period the company operated with direct international flights from its bases in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Chania, Corfu, Mykonos and Larnaca, supporting the gradual return to normality and Greece’s tourism.
In the nine-month period of 2021, which included the effect of the second lockdown that restricted significantly activity for the first half of the year, consolidated revenue stood at €486,8 mil., 42% higher than the respective period in 2020. The Group carried 5 mil. passengers up from 4,4 mil. passengers in the nine-month period of 2020 while headline losses before taxes stood at €32,9 mil. from €237,7 mil. losses before taxes in the respective period in 2020.
Following the completion of the share capital increase of €60,0 mil. in June 2021, which was a condition precedent for the completion of the state aid, the Company received in July 2021 the approved by EU state aid for the partial compensation of the 2020 losses occurred due to the pandemic. The state aid amount was recognized in the income statement net of the warrants valuation. Moreover, a provision related to the restructuring of the fleet was recognized. The total effect of the three aforementioned factors amounted to total non-headline (exceptional) income of €62,7 mil., in the above headline profit for the three and nine-month period.
Taking into account the above-mentioned non-headline (exceptional) income, Profit before Taxes amounted to €121,5 mil. in the third quarter of 2021 and €29,8 mil. in the nine-month period of 2021.
Cash and cash equivalents stood to €543,5 mil. on 30.09.2021, despite the significant increase in pre-delivery payments to Airbus during the third quarter ($43 mil.) for the upcoming aircraft deliveries and the repayment of the €92 mil. loan credit facility. Following the repayment, the total outstanding amount of the issued bonds and loans stood at €344 mil. on 30.09.2021 down from €440 mil. on 31.12.2020.
We have completed the process of strengthening our capital base and accelerated pre-delivery payments to Airbus, necessary for the accelerated delivery of 22 additional new Airbus A320/321neo aircraft within 2022-2023, boosting our competitiveness and improving our ability for new services to our customers. We have also efficiently managed our operating costs. Despite the under-utilization of our fleet where we offered 75% of pre-covid capacity and the adverse effect of load factors which were significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels, we were one of the few listed airlines in Europe which generated a positive headline result in the third quarter.
The pandemic and its effects are still with us with its impact expected to be evident particularly during the seasonally weak winter period. However, we believe that demand in 2022 will be stronger as of the second quarter the year, allowing us an improved exploitation of our activity and ongoing fleet investments.”