ATHENS (Reuters) -Aegean Airlines, Greece's largest carrier, returned to profit in the second quarter after losses in the same period a year earlier with sales rebounding strongly as passenger traffic recovered from pandemic travel restrictions.
Aegean, a member of the Star Alliance airlines group, reported a net profit of 10.8 million euros ($10.79 million) in the April-to-June period compared with a loss of 33.9 million in the second quarter of 2021. Sales jumped 201% to 327.3 million euros.
Chief Executive Dimitris Gerogiannis said the strong desire to travel after two years of COVID-19-related restrictions contributed to a robust rebound in passenger traffic.
"Despite the cost of fuel we returned to profitability from the second quarter, before the always-stronger third quarter. This continued in the summer months as we boosted load factors to 84% in July to August," Gerogiannis said.
Aegean's performance in the summer months boosts the expected earnings for the year as a whole, he said.
The airline flew 3.3 million passengers in the second quarter, with its load factor - a key industry measure of filled seats - improving to 79.2% from 55.8% in the same period last year.
Aegean's cash reserves at the end of June stood at 602.1 million euros.
($1 = 1.0007 euros)
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Jonathan Oatis)