AirAsia group’s load factor rises in Q1

epa05043868 (FILE) A file picture dated 29 December 2014 shows a man walking by an AirAsia billboard in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Budget airline AirAsia posted a loss after tax of 405.7 million ringgit (96.13 million US dollar) in the third quarter of 2015, the company said in its report to Bursa Malaysia, Malaysia's stock exchange. The Kuala Lumpur-based airline traced its third-quarter woes to foreign exchange losses as well as poor performance of some of its subsidiaries, such as its Indonesian one. In the second quarter of 2015, AirAsia posted a profit of 243 million ringgit after tax. AirAsia said it remained optimistic about its prospects in the fourth quarter despite the poor performance in the July to September period. EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia group recorded a load factor of 86% in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, above the industry average load factor of 78%-79% reported by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the Asia-Pacific market during the period.

Reporting its preliminary operating statistics on Monday, the budget carrier said in a statement that its load factor rose by 9 percentage points (ppts) from the 77% achieved in the same period last year.

The number of passengers carried jumped 17% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 13.9 million, well ahead of the 6% increase in capacity, AirAsia said.

At the end of the quarter under review, the group’s total fleet size stood at 170 aircraft (171 including one aircraft that was delivered to AirAsia Japan in Q4 2015, which has not begun operation).

Malaysia AirAsia, which has a total fleet of 80 aircraft, posted a load factor of 85% in Q1, up 10 ppts y-o-y. Demand exceeded capacity with 17% increase in the number of passengers carried at 6.48 million and 3% y-o-y increase in capacity.

Thai AirAsia’s load factor was even better at 88%, up 5 ppts y-o-y. Total number of passengers carried increased 18% YoY to 4.37 million, ahead of the 11% increase in capacity.

Meanwhile, Indonesia AirAsia’s (IAA) load factor showed a marked increase to 79%, up 9 ppts from a year earlier. The number of passengers carried increased 2%, despite capacity reduction of 10% y-o-y.

“As part of its turnaround plan, in Q1 IAA transferred out two aircraft to the other affiliates (one aircraft to Thai AirAsia and one to Philippines AirAsia). Its total fleet at the end of Q1 stood at 23 aircraft, which includes eight aircraft operated by Indonesia AirAsia X,” it said.

Philippines AirAsia reported a load factor of 87% in 1Q16, up 10 ppts y-o-y. Passenger figure was up 15% to 0.97 million, supported by the increase in capacity of 2% y-o-y.

AirAsia India posted a load factor of 86% in the period under review, up 6 ppts. The number of passengers carried shot up 127% y-o-y to 0.54 million.
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