KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd saw all its four key operating entities post significant improvement for the second quarter of this year (Q2’21) amid a low base effect as the group’s fleet were hibernated for the most part of the Q2’20 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued yesterday, the low-cost carrier said AirAsia Malaysia carried 64% higher number of passengers year-on-year (y-o-y) on 54% higher capacity, resulting in a four percentage point-increase to a healthy load factor of 64%.
This is despite AirAsia Malaysia’s operations remaining constrained quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) due to a lockdown and interstate travel restrictions imposed from January this year. “The ongoing subdued operations are expected to persist until Malaysia reaches herd immunity by the fourth quarter of this year. The government has recently set a new target of vaccinating all adults by October 2021,” it said.
Meanwhile, AirAsia Philippines posted a 2% increase in number of passengers carried and four percentage points increase in load factor to reach 78%.
However, it said the monthly breakdown showed that load factor was as high as 83% in June 2021, driven by active capacity management.
“This was despite running a limited number of charter and passenger flights due to community quarantine restrictions and despite flying only from its Manila hub,” it added.
Although AirAsia Indonesia’s number of passengers showed a mere 1% dip in the q-o-q, its load factor grew by 11 percentage points to 67% in Q2’21 due to more stringent capacity management.
“AirAsia Indonesia was operating approximately 70% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity in May 2021 and demonstrated strong signs of recovery before it had to enter hibernation mode in early July in support of the containment efforts by the government as infection cases increased,” said AirAsia.
On the other hand, AirAsia Thailand more than doubled the number of passengers carried y-o-y and reported a nine percentage point-increase in load factor to 61% in Q2’21, driven by higher demand during the Songkran festival in April 2021 and low base effect in the corresponding period last year.
However, AirAsia Thailand’s recovery was short-lived due to the new wave of Covid-19 that started in mid-April this year.
Having said that, it posted a 26% q-o-q decline in passengers carried in June this year.
Nevertheless, AirAsia Thailand’s load factor stood firm at 78% in June, attributed to active capacity management.
Moving forward, AirAsia remains committed to strengthen its domestic foothold while awaiting positive developments on international air travel.
“Expectation of high vaccination rates in Asean countries by the end of this year is lending confidence on upcoming recovery, enhanced by the group’s robust short-haul model in addition to leaner and more stabilised operations,” said AirAsia.