April 28, 2020 / 5:29 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Aena says traffic tumbles 95% in its Spanish airports in April

(Adds details, background)

MADRID, April 28 (Reuters) - State-owned Spanish airport operator Aena said on Tuesday that traffic in its domestic network plummeted more than 95% in April, following a 59.3% fall in March, adding it was difficult to foresee when traffic would recover.

Traffic began to decelerate in late February before falling sharply in March and plunging in April, the company said, adding that the situation was generalised across all its airports, both at home and abroad.

Aena, which also operates Luton airport in Britain, registered net profit of 23.1 million euros ($25 million) in the first quarter, an 83% drop on the year-ago period as the sector reels from the impact of the novel coronavirus. It reported core earnings of 251.2 million euros, a 36% drop year-on-year.

The operator did not give any predictions for 2020 - neither in terms of passengers nor results - citing uncertainty due to the coronavirus crisis and the difficulty in seeing how the situation will evolve.

The company said it had 2.43 billion euros in credit lines and cash, plus 495 million euros in commercial paper through the European Commercial Paper programme.

Aena was the European airport operator with the greatest volume of passengers in 2019, registering 293.4 million travellers in total. ($1 = 0.9232 euros) (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; Editing by Sonya Dowsett and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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