PETALING JAYA: The country’s national carrier, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, recorded a 2% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, amid the challenges and rising competition in the aviation sector.
The improved topline was mainly due to the 8% increase in Malaysia Airlines’ domestic and international capacity, although revenue per available seat kilometre fell slightly by 1 sen to 19.5 sen in the first quarter of 2019.
The company’s ancillary revenue, however, saw a stronger growth of 23% y-o-y following initiatives that “allow passengers greater choice and flexibility”, as well as competitive pricing for products such as prepaid baggage and seat selection as well as other ancillary products.
The airline said in a statement its load factor has remained flat in the first quarter at 75.2%, as the increase in capacity was matched with market demand.
Malaysia Airlines’ passenger volume in the January-to-March 2019 period rose by 5% y-o-y to 3.38 million, while its on-time performance improved to 86% in the first quarter from 76% in the previous corresponding quarter.
The carrier described its first quarter performance as “stable”, adding that it has seen good traction in its Customer Satisfaction Index, which was up by 2 percentage points y-o-y.
On the upcoming quarters of financial year 2019, chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail expects the period to remain extremely challenging due to overcapacity in the region as well as domestic aviation sector.
“While the airline has hedged against fuel and foreign exchange, we will continue to be impacted by such external volatilities, including the ongoing trade war between the US and China, and does not foresee to break even this year,” he said.
He said its key focus remained on driving revenue improvements through enhanced product and service offerings, focusing on what its passengers valued, while driving cost optimisation.
“Looking ahead, our forward booking looks much stronger compared to last year, as the airline continues to strengthen its sales channels including the travel trade partners and build on existing products such as MHexplorer,” said Izham.
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