Spain's Aena swings to 241 million Q1 loss as pandemic stunts air traffic

MADRID, April 29 (Reuters) - Spanish airport operator Aena on Thursday reported a first quarter loss of 241 million euros, as air traffic at key locations fell to less than a fifth of levels in the corresponding period of 2019.

The loss compared with a net profit of 23 million euros a year earlier, when coronavirus-related restrictions started to hit the industry, and a 136 million profit in the first quarter of 2019, Aena said in a statement.

It said passenger traffic at its airports in Spain, London and Brazil fell 76% from the same period a year ago and represented 19% of the level of 2019.

The company said it expected traffic to start recovering in the second half of the year as vaccination programmes progress and more flexible travel regimes are introduced.

Aena said it offered discounts worth a combined 800 million euros ($970 million) to stores and restaurants renting spaces in its terminals. More than two thirds of them have accepted the offer, the company added. ($1 = 0.8245 euros) (Reporting by Inti Landauro; editing by John Stonestreet)