AirAsia carried 9% more passengers in fourth quarter

The low cost carrier said it carried 13.17 million passengers during the period in review, compared with 12.11 million passengers in the corresponding period in 2018.

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group Bhd saw a growth of 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the number of passengers carried for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31,2019.

In a statement, the low cost carrier said it carried 13.17 million passengers during the period in review, compared with 12.11 million passengers in the corresponding period in 2018.

During the period in review, AirAsia’s capacity grew 11% y-o-y to 16.02 million passengers from 14.38 million, thanks to large increases in Indonesia and the Philippines.

The group’s load factor, however, fell to 82% from 84% as a result of increased capacity.

For the full financial year 2019, AirAsia carried 12% more passengers y-o-y or a total of 83.5 million passengers.

During the fourth quarter in review, AirAsia Malaysia added 4% more capacity and carried 2% more passengers y-o-y, with a softer load factor of 82% due to change in pricing strategy.

AirAsia Malaysia launched two new international routes, including a new unique route to Da-Lat in Vietnam from Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia Malaysia also began running commercial flights with its newly delivered Airbus A321neo in November 2019.

For the full year 2019, AirAsia Malaysia carried 8% more passengers, faster than industry growth, reflecting continuing market share gain.

AirAsia Indonesia’s capacity increase was significant at 32% higher than in the corresponding period in 2018. The number of passengers carried grew 30% compared to the previous corresponding quarter, recording marginally lower load factor of 81% owing to the higher capacity. During the period, AirAsia Indonesia launched six new routes, which are Jakarta-Belitung, Jakarta-Sorong, Kuala Lumpur-Belitung, Kuala Lumpur-Pontianak, Jakarta-Johor Bahru and Surabaya-Lombok.

AirAsia Philippines also posted a robust capacity growth during the quarter, up 27% y-o-y following the introduction of a new route, Manila-Bacolod in addition to frequency increases across popular domestic and international routes such as Cagayan de Oro-Manila, Manila-Caticlan and Bangkok-Manila. Load factor was, however, lower by four percentage points to 85% due to the large increase in capacity. The number of passengers carried grew by 21% y-o-y.

AirAsia Thailand reduced capacity by 2% y-o-y as it continued to focus on capacity realignment and route rationalisation to enhance efficiency and better match demand. Correspondingly, the number of passengers carried dipped by 1%, holding load factor firm at 86%.

AirAsia India reported a remarkable growth in the fourth quarter of 2019. Total passengers carried boosted by 39% y-o-y on the back of a 38% ramp up in capacity, improving load factor by one percentage point to achieve 87%. AirAsia India strengthened its domestic position by introducing several new routes in the fourth quarter of 2019, ending the year with a fleet size of 28, taking in an additional six aircraft in the quarter.

AirAsia Japan’s capacity expanded by 94% while average seat kilometers increased by 74% following the launch of its third route, Nagoya-Sendai in the third quarter of 2019. Load factor held steady at 72%, supported by a 95% y-o-y growth in passengers carried.

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