Aeroflot Reports Losses in Q2 Due to Pandemic

Russia’s biggest airline, Aeroflot, on Monday reported a second-quarter net loss of 35.79 billion rubles (€404 million) as coronavirus-related restrictions curbed travel, Irish Times reported.

Its passenger traffic fell by 88.8 per cent as most international flights to and from Russia were halted due to the pandemic.

International flights were grounded on March 30th after the lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 980,000 people in Russia so far and killed more than 16,900.

In the same period last year, Aeroflot posted a net profit of R6.93 billion.

The airline said it had reached a number of deals on transfers of payments and “special” conditions with some of its partners. The carrier said in June it considered postponing deliveries of some aircraft, which it planned to add to its fleet, until sometime nearer next summer.

In contrast to many global airlines, which had said they may shrink their workforces due to a collapse in air travel, Aeroflot did not mention any workforce cuts.

Recovery undermined

Russia has drafted a support plan for Aeroflot whereby the government and state bank VTB would take part in a share issue worth R80 billion, two sources said in June. In June, Aeroflot also received R70 billion worth of state guarantees.

Tentative signs of an air travel recovery in Europe after a three-month pause have been undermined by new localised outbreaks and restrictions, leading some airlines to seek state support.

Aeroflot approved an additional share issue this month without specifying the amount it planned to raise.

In July, the International Air Transport Association said it now expected global passenger numbers for 2020 to decline by 55 per cent compared with 2019 versus its April forecast of 46 per cent.

Aeroflot’s chief executive said the carrier may see half its expected amount of passenger traffic in 2020.

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