Russian flag carrier Aeroflot slipped to a net loss of Rb26.2 billion ($356 million) in the second quarter, from a profit of Rb2.73 billion a year ago, but is now seeing a “gradual recovery” in domestic flights.

“To support this positive trend, management plans to continue the implementation of strict cost-optimisation measures,” the SkyTeam member stresses, noting its “constant dialogue with partners to improve terms and conditions in order to preserve jobs and the company’s business and weather the current global crisis”.

Passenger turnover plunged 92% in the second quarter, amid a near-total cessation of international flying – excepting repatriation missions – and “a significant reduction in domestic flights due to quarantine-related travel restrictions in certain regions of Russia”. Financial results prepared in accordance with Russian accounting standards show second-quarter revenue down 85%.

Across the year’s first half, passenger turnover fell 57% and revenue 52%. “Management’s decision to decrease capacity by 47.8% had a positive impact on costs,” says Aeroflot.

As unit passenger revenue dropped 15%, the airline’s first-half net loss trebled to Rb42.4 billion, despite a “40%-plus” increase in cargo revenue as the widebody fleet was repurposed to carry freight.

The first-half cost of sales tightened 34% to Rb178 million. Aeroflot says this was a result not just of declining operational volumes but also of “large-scale cost-optimisation measures”.