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Aeroflot reports third-quarter core profit as traffic improves
[MOSCOW] Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot on Tuesday reported a third-quarter core profit (EBITDA) of 20.09 billion roubles (S$353.51 million), boosted by partial recovery in traffic and lower operating costs.
In the second quarter, Aeroflot had made an EBITDA loss of 1.96 billion roubles as the pandemic grounded most passenger planes around the world.
Aeroflot's passenger traffic decline slowed to 45.3 per cent in the third quarter after a fall of nearly 90 per cent in April-June.
"The low season of fourth quarter 2020 and first quarter 2021 will remain challenging for all airlines, which are continuing to operate in an environment of restrictions on top of the traditional seasonal decline in demand," Aeroflot's Deputy CEO for Commerce and Finance Andrey Chikhanchin said.
The company cut its operating costs, excluding aircraft fuel, by almost a third in July-September to 77.42 billion roubles.
The Russian government has not imposed a complete lockdown during a second wave of the coronavirus and some international travel routes are gradually being restored.
In October-November, Aeroflot resumed flights to Seoul, Belgrade and Tokyo.
Aeroflot's low-cost airline, Pobeda, which mostly operates domestic flights, in October had passenger traffic growth of 10.6 per cent compared with a decline of about 47.1 per cent for the group.
VTB Capital analyst Elena Sakhnova said in October, Russia's airline traffic was at 61 per cent of levels in October 2019, showing the second fastest recovery after China, while Europe stood at 35 per cent.
The International Air Transport Association said in September full-year passenger traffic is set to decline globally by 66 per cent, compared with a previously forecast 63 per cent decline amid renewed coronavirus outbreaks and travel restrictions.