Greek airline Aegean has reported a pre-tax loss of €297 million for financial 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on the aviation sector.

The figure is in comparison to a profit of €107 million for 2019.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, chief executive of Aegean, commented: “Last year was certainly the most difficult year in aviation history.

“From the onset of the crisis we have worked diligently to manage the challenges of this special period.

“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.

“Naturally, the completion of the upcoming share capital increase is another important step in this process.”

The resurgence of the pandemic, and the renewed restrictive measures imposed on travel in Europe and in Greece, heavily impacted the activity of the group in the fourth quarter.

Traffic was down 85 per cent in the last three months of the year, when compared to 2019.

Over the whole year, the carrier welcomed 5.1 million passengers, down from 15 million in the prior year.

“We expect gradual but significant recovery in the second half 2021 and onwards, provided that the recently improved vaccination rate continues, and the EU digital green passport is implemented successfully no later than the end of June,” added Gerogiannis.