KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) has been on a steady and ongoing course of relaunching all of its profitable routes to China, and increasing frequencies on routes with high demands, effectively strengthening the airline's position within the regions it operates in.
The carrier currently operates nine aircraft and expects aircraft to be operational by end of 2023 to support its expansion plans and maximise the value to the group.
“Based on historical seasonality, the upcoming quarter is generally a low-sales season. However, the group is optimistic of the results on the back of strong fare trends, optimised load factors and more favourable fuel price trends.
“The group shall practise prudence in navigating the challenge that the strengthening of the US dollar may pose,” AAX said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
In the first quarter ended March 31, AAX posted a net profit of RM328mil, or earnings per share of 79.10 sen against RM33.6bil, or 8104.30 sen in the corresponding quarter last year.
Revenue jumped almost five fold to RM548.8mil from RM113 mil a year ago.
AAX said in 2022, revenue was mainly generated from charter flights and cargo, as most of the fleet remained grounded then.
“This reporting period, the upsurge in international travel have catapulted the revenue, achieving 47% recovery against the pre-COVID-19 period,” it said.
AAX said sStaff costs and maintenance costs continue to increase in tandem to the gradual reactivation of aircraft to nine operating aircraft and the corresponding flying and ground crews, up by 334% and 188%, respectively.
It added that the weakening of currency against the US dollar has also further impacted the maintenance costs.
Overall, the carrier reported an earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of RM360.3mil, 36% higher than the same period in 2019, i.e., pre-Covid-19 of RM264.5mil.
This is mainly driven by the higher average base fare and average ancillary revenue per passenger of RM785 and RM244 respectively with a fully recovered passenger load factor of 80%.