Greek carrier Aegean Airlines is expecting a gradual, but significant, recovery in the second half of this year, if progress with coronavirus vaccination roll-out and European digital passport initiatives progress.

But the company says the first months of this year have been “heavily impacted” by restrictions, as it unveils the scale of losses for last year.

Aegean turned in a full-year pre-tax loss of €297 million ($354 million) for 2020 in contrast to the €107 million profit in the previous year.

Net losses reached €228 million, the company states, on full-year revenues which were down nearly 70% to €415 million.

Aegean A321neo-c-Aegean Airlines

Source: Aegean Airlines

Revenues for the fourth quarter fell by 74% as new restrictive measures were imposed in Greece and across Europe during a resurgence of the pandemic.

But it says that cash and equivalents stood at €478 million at the end of December 2020.

“From the onset of the crisis we have worked diligently to manage the challenges of this special period,” says chief executive Dimitris Gerogiannis.

“We continue to work to further enhance our resilience and competitiveness but also to develop new services for our passengers to be more effective once restrictions are gradually lifted.”

He adds that completion of an upcoming share capital increase is “another important step” in the recovery process.

Aegean is to continue its fleet modernisation, which includes 46 new aircraft, with the delivery of its fourth Airbus A321neo in May.