Quick take: AirAsia active, up 4% in early trade

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of AirAsia Group Bhd continued to be actively traded in early trade Thursday as it returns to the skies with domestic flights in Malaysia starting today.

The budget carrier rose 4.46%, or 3.5 sen to 82 sen. It is currently one of the most actively traded counters on Bursa Malaysia with 18.5 million shares traded.

Long haul budget carrier, AirAsia X added 9.09%, or one sen to 12 sen with 31.2 million shares traded.

AirAsia resumed its scheduled domestic flights in Malaysia but is looking to cut cost aggressively and not take delivery of any aircraft this year.

The airline will start flying to selected international destinations soon subject to the approval of the authorities.

Its planned flight resumptions include Thailand on May 1, the Philippines on May 16 and Indonesia on May 7.

Executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said AirAsia expected its initiatives on bringing down its cost of operations would result in the company saving 30% of its cost this year.

Among the cost-cutting measures are plans not to take any new aircraft deliveries this year and its target is to end 2020 with 242 aircraft.

AirAsia has grounded its fleet across the network due to Covid-19 pandemic that led to extensive and increasing border restrictions imposed by various countries

“We believe this temporary fleet hibernation is the right thing to do to ensure the well-being of our guests and employees, which will remain as the top priority of our business during this challenging time,” it said.

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