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Flying High Again, Aegean Repaid COVID Pandemic Loans Early

ATHENS – Besides being bailed out during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece’s Aegean Airlines relied on commercial bank loans to stay afloat until air travel resumed again and said it has finally repaid them, three years early.

That’s on the strength of a big recovery despite complaints during lockdowns that it was difficult for customers to get refunds if they didn’t want vouchers for future travel, with the Coronavirus waning.

The airline has been left with cash and cash equivalents of more than 500 million euros ($538.40 million) and net equity has also returned to pre-pandemic levels, said Ch-Aviation, with seats filling up and tourism growing.

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/125898-greeces-aegean-completes-covid-emergency-loan-repayment

The airline completed repayment of the last tranche of the emergency loans from four large Greek banks by March 15, according  its Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2022 results.

It showed a strong recovery after two years of massive losses due to Covid-19, including 1.34 billion euros

EUR1.34 billion euros ($1.44 billion in turnover and 106.8 million euros ($115 million in profit after taxes, the site said, but not enough to bring a dividend pay-out for the fourth year in a row, said Chief Executive Officer Dimitris Gerogiannis.

It will be used to leverage the airline’s capacity to buy out the rights of the Greek government upon a potential exercise of their warrants and keep sufficient cash reserves to fund investment in a maintenance centre and simulator facility, the report also added.

“The first indications for 2023 are particularly encouraging, with international traffic in the first two months and ticket pre-sales trends for the upcoming summer, well above early 2022 but also versus the same period of pre-pandemic 2019,” Gerogiannis said in a statement.

“The use of a higher number of Airbus neo aircraft will bring unit cost savings in fuel per seat, partially mitigating higher interest rates impact and high inflation across Europe that will affect the suppliers and our operating costs,” he said.

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