Aegean first half loss almost doubles on lower revenue

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Aegean Airlines posted a net loss of €38.5 million ($48.3 million) in the first half of 2012, almost double its €19.8 million net loss in the corresponding period in 2011.

Revenue for the six months to 30 June decreased 9% to €269 million, as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and aircraft rentals (EBITDAR) more than doubled to negative €48 million - compared with negative EBITDAR of €23.2 million in H1 2011.

The airline attributes the disappointing financial performance to high oil prices and the strengthening of the US dollar against the euro.

Aegean Airlines carried 2.69 million passengers during the period - a year-on-year decrease of 8% - while load factor grew 4.9 percentage points to 69.5%.

On the operational front, the airline says political uncertainty deterred potential visitors from coming to Greece - in particular to Athens - during the period of two consecutive elections in the country.

Aegean managing director Dimitris Gerogiannis says: "Our efforts on cost reduction are expected to bring more substantial savings during the third and fourth quarter of the year. The weakness and uncertainty surrounding the Greek economy requires further significant adjustments, flexibility and increased focus on seasonal incoming leisure demand."