ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s largest carrier Aegean Airlines (AGNr.AT) had restored 40% of its flight operations in June and expects to increase the level to 50% next month, its chief executive told the annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.
Aegean, a member of the Star Alliance airline group, more than doubled its loss in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, hurt by the grounding of planes as part of restrictions to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
Aegean, whose chairman has said he expects 2020 to be the worst year in its 21-year history, reiterated guidance for the second quarter, forecasting losses of 26 million - 28 million euros per month for the three-month period.
CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis told shareholders the airline’s cash reserves stood at over 400 million euros (360 million pounds)at the end of June, without including bank credit lines.
The airline has taken delivery of five new Airbus 320neo jets and two more are expected in the coming months, part of a fleet renewal programme that includes 46 new aircraft ordered from planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA).
Executives said the carrier was seeking to delay taking delivery of some of the new aircraft as it strives to conserve cash.
“The challenges we face because of COVID-19 are unprecedented. Our actions to strengthen the company’s cash shield and reduce our overall costs and adjust our network to current conditions are continuing and are gradually producing results,” Gerogiannis said.
Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Barbara Lewis