AirAsia flew 15.81m pas­sen­gers in Q2

Solid num­bers point to bet­ter fi­nan­cial show­ing due later this month, say an­a­lysts

New Straits Times - - Business - KUALA LUMPUR

AIRASIA Bhd said yes­ter­day it car­ried 15.81 mil­lion pas­sen­gers in the sec­ond quar­ter ended June 30, an in­crease of 14 per cent year-on-year.

The seat­ing ca­pac­ity of Asi­aAsia also rose 11 per cent year-onyear, it re­ported.

Asia’s largest low-cost air­line by fleet had a load fac­tor of 88 per cent in the sec­ond quar­ter, up three per cent from the same quar­ter last year.

An­a­lysts said the solid num­bers sug­gested a bet­ter fi­nan­cial show­ing for AirAsia when its sec­ond-quar­ter re­sults were due later this month.

AirAsia was likely to re­port bet­ter profit on higher pas­sen­ger traf­fic de­spite higher jet fuel cost, they said.

CIMB Re­search said the air­line might de­liver bet­ter re­sults de­spite the ring­git be­ing weaker by 5.7 per cent year-on-year and jet fuel price (in­clu­sive of hedg­ing) be­ing higher by 11 per cent yearon-year.

This is be­cause of AirAsia’s higher load fac­tor, which would off­set most or all of the cost hikes.

For the first quar­ter ended March 31, AirAsia’s net profit fell 30 per cent to RM615.8 mil­lion from RM877.79 mil­lion a year ago, due to higher fuel cost. Rev­enue rose 31 per cent to RM2.26 bil­lion from RM1.7 bil­lion pre­vi­ously.

AirAsia’s share price closed flat at RM3.26 yes­ter­day.

It said at the end of the quar­ter un­der re­view, the group’s to­tal fleet size stood at 178 air­craft, not in­clud­ing two air­craft de­liv­ered to AirAsia Ja­pan which had yet to com­mence op­er­a­tion.

“AirAsia Bhd Con­sol­i­dated (AOCs) achieved a load fac­tor of 89 per cent, up by two per­cent­age points from the same pe­riod last year.

“Strong de­mand for air travel helped the num­ber of pas­sen­gers car­ried in­crease 10 per cent yearon-year to 9.61 mil­lion, more than the eight per cent in­crease in ca­pac­ity,” it said in a state­ment.

The group said AOCs ended the quar­ter with a fleet size of 106 air­craft, com­pris­ing 77 reg­is­tered in Malaysia (AirAsia Bhd), 14 in In­done­sia (PT In­done­sia AirAsia) and 15 in the Philip­pines (Philip­pines AirAsia Inc).

Thai AirAsia (TAA) re­ported a load fac­tor of 86 per cent, up by three per­cent­age points year-onyear.

Dur­ing the quar­ter, TAA car­ried 4.69 mil­lion pas­sen­gers, an in­crease of 13 per cent year-onyear, which was higher than the nine per cent growth in seat ca­pac­ity.

“TAA took an ad­di­tional air­craft dur­ing the quar­ter, thus end­ing the quar­ter with a to­tal of 54 air­craft,” it said.

AirAsia In­dia (AAI) re­ported a load fac­tor of 90 per cent, up by three per­cent­age points year-onyear.

“The num­ber of pas­sen­gers car­ried in­creased 89 per cent year-on-year to 1.01 mil­lion, more than the 83 per cent in­crease in ca­pac­ity.

“AAI ended the sec­ond quar­ter with a fleet size of 10 af­ter adding one air­craft dur­ing the quar­ter,” it said.

AirAsia Bhd is likely to re­port bet­ter profit on higher pas­sen­ger traf­fic in the sec­ond quar­ter de­spite ris­ing jet fuel cost, say an­a­lysts.

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