airBaltic Group posts EUR 264.6 million loss for 2020

  • 2021-04-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The group of Latvia's airBaltic national carrier closed 2020 with EUR 142.6 million in turnover, down 72 percent from the year before, while its loss expanded 29 times on year to EUR 264.6 million, according to information released by the company.

The group's EBITDAR, or operating loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent reached EUR 152.3 million in contrast to profit the year before.

The turnover of the group's parent Air Baltic Corporation shrank 73 percent from 2019 to EUR 137.915 million last year, and its loss grew 35 times to EUR 278.267 million/

Last year, airBaltic carried 1.34 million passengers, which is a reduction of 73 percent from 2019, while the number of flights fell 64 percent to 22,000.

The group's staff decreased by 30 percent to around 1,200 employees at the end of 2020.

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss told LETA that the Covid-19 pandemic that struck the world in 2020 brought about dramatic changes but that the core vision for airBaltic's future remains unchanged - to be the number one carrier in the Baltics, providing the best connectivity to and from the region.

"Last year, in the wake of the crisis, we significantly reduced our cost and adjusted the business plan Destination 2025 CLEAN. We took a decision to permanently phase out Q400 and B737 aircraft and became a single aircraft type operator of the Airbus A220-300 two year ahead of the original plan," Gauss said.

Last year the airline connected Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius on a total of 76 routes, providing much-needed essential connectivity and cargo shipments for the region. The group's companies commanded 37 percent of the Baltic market, which is an increase of one percentage point against 2019. airBaltic's market share in Riga decreased by two percentage points to 57 percent, but grew by five percentage points to 14 percent in Vilnius and rose by six percentage points to 27 percent in Tallinn.

In 2020, the group's companies carried 7.5 million tons of freight, which is half as much as in 2019, and spent 58,244 tons of fuel, down 66.2 percent on year. Last year, airBaltic emitted 183,460 tons of CO2, which is a reduction of 66.2 percent from 2019.

In 2019, airBaltic turned over EUR 509 million and sustained a loss of EUR 9.1 million.

In 2020, airBaltic received EUR 250 in state aid for raising its share capital. The European Commission approved the support and the money was invested, raising the airline's share capital to EUR 506,472,824.

airBaltic Group includes parent Air Baltic Corporation and subsidiaries Baltijas Kravu Centrs, Aviation Crew Resources, Air Baltic Training and Loyalty Services. 

The Latvian state currently owns 96.14 percent in airBaltic, and a 3.86 percent stake in the airline belongs to Aircraft Leasing 1, a company owned by Danish businessman Lars Thuesen.