Greek carrier Aegean Airlines reported a 2019 third-quarter net income of €90.2 million ($99.9 million), down 4% from €94.7 million in the year-ago period, as a result of higher fuel costs.

The airline and its Olympic Air subsidiary saw consolidated revenue rise 6% year-over-year (YOY) to €512.5 million. Pre-tax earnings decreased to €123.7 million, down 8% YOY. Fuel costs were up 12% to €97.8 million for the quarter.

For the first nine months, the Athens-based Star Alliance carrier posted a net profit of €77.1 million, down 4.7% from a €80.9 million net profit for the year-ago period.

Aegean Airlines CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis said the company “managed to improve all our operational figures in the 2019 nine-month period and welcomed more than 12% international passengers on board despite the marginal increase in inbound tourism flows into the country.”

He said the group was able to mitigate the increase in the effective fuel unit costs.

Between January and September, ASKs grew 8% YOY to 14.4 billion, while RPKs were up 10% to 12.2 billion. This equated to a load factor of 84.5%, up from 83.6% for the year-ago period; the number of passengers rose 7% to 11.6 million YOY. The group operated a total of 90.4 flights sectors, up 5% YOY.

“Our effort to extend the tourism season, which contributes overall to tourism development in our country, yielded positive results in the second quarter and is expected to do so in the fourth quarter as well,” Gerogiannis said.

Aegean increased capacity with additional frequencies and new routes this year to Marrakech, Casablanca (Morocco); Ibiza, Valencia (Spain); Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina); Tunis (Tunisia); Skopje (Macedonia); and from Thessaloniki to Hannover (Germany).

Aegean and Olympic Air carried 14 million passengers in 2018. The 2019 network covers 151 destinations (31 domestic and 120 international) to 44 countries. The two carriers operate 61 aircraft.

Kurt Hofmann,