A “comprehensive plan” to support Greece’s biggest airlines company, AEGEAN, was presented on Monday by the Greek government.

It will inject 120 million euros of state aid into Aegean Airlines which has been hard-hit by the pandemic crisis.

In return, the Greek state will receive stock warrants with the right “to purchase the company’s stock at a specific date under specific circumstances” as the government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said.

The state aid will be provided under the condition that stakeholders of AEGEAN will also chip in.

They are expected to provide extra capital of 60 million euros through a share capital increase.

The plan is based on the equitable sharing of burdens between the state and the shareholders” stressed Petsas.

The Greek government wanted to be clear: this is not a hand out.

It follows strong reactions caused by past remarks by AEGEAN’s Chairman, Eftichios Vassilakis.

In May 2020, during a teleconference with shareholders and institutional investors, the head of Aegean Airlines said that the company will never be taken under the control of the state. Back then, he said that he would accept aid in the form of state guarantee loans, furlough schemes or employment income support schemes.

According to INSETE Intelligence, the Research Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), tourist flight arrivals in Greece dropped by 73,4% in 2020.

AEGEAN has reported a revenue drop of 64% in the first half of 2020.

Losses reached 158.8 million euros (compared to losses of 13 million euros in the first half of 2019).

Aegean Airlines has already made use of the horizontal measures adopted by the Greek government for the support of employees and businesses in the first phase of the pandemic crisis.

The rescue plan for Aegean Airlines is to be approved by the European Commission.

AEGEAN AIRLINES

First half of 2020

First half of 2019

Change

Total passenger traffic (numbers in thousands) 2,463
6,452
-62%

Flights

24,439 51,052 -52%
RPK/ASK 72.5% 82.2% -9.7

Source: AEGEAN Corporate