Ai­rA­sia adds 12 planes to fleet

Profit soars as ex­pan­sion the fastest in re­cent years

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page -

PE­TAL­ING JAYA: Ai­rA­sia Bhd is adding 12 air­craft to its fleet through op­er­at­ing leases in the fourth quar­ter of 2017, its fastest pace of ex­pan­sion in re­cent years as net profit in the three months ended Sept 30 soared.

For the fourth quar­ter of 2017, the air­line said strong de­mand will con­tinue to be ob­served across most of its op­er­at­ing sec­tors de­spite a travel alert is­sued due to the erup­tion of Mount Agung in Indonesia.

Ai­rA­sia, Asia’s big­gest low-cost car­rier, has op­er­at­ing units in Indonesia, Thai­land, the Philip­pines, In­dia and Ja­pan. It also has a long­haul sis­ter com­pany Ai­rA­sia X Bhd.

“The group is pro­jected to achieve an av­er­age load factor of 87% in the fourth quar­ter based on the ex­ist­ing for­ward book­ing trend,” Ai­rA­sia said in a fil­ing with Bursa Malaysia.

The pro­jec­tion is at par with the load factor in the third quar­ter.

Net profit jumped 43% to RM505.3mil in the three months ended Sept 30 from RM353.9mil a year ago. Rev­enue in­creased to RM2.45bil from RM1.69bil pre­vi­ously.

“In the con­sol­i­dated ac­counts com­bin­ing our Malaysia, Indonesia and Philip­pines units for the third quar­ter, we man­aged to over­come higher fuel costs with re­mark­able rev­enue growth of 15% year-onyear,” its chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tan Sri Tony Fer­nan­des ( pic) said in a state­ment.

“We be­lieve that 2017 will be an­other record year for us,” he added.

Ai­rA­sia said the growth in rev­enue was at­trib­ut­able to a 12% in­crease in to­tal pas­sen­gers car­ried de­spite a mar­ginal de­crease in load factor to 87% com­pared with 88% in the same three months last year.

Av­er­age fare de­creased 2% to RM172 from RM176, while the over­all rev­enue per avail­able seat km was flat at 14.76 sen.

“Dur­ing the quar­ter, the group has de­liv­ered an ad­di­tional 1,425,576 seat ca­pac­ity, which rep­re­sents an ad­di­tional 14% growth in seat ca­pac­ity,” it said.

This was achieved on the back of a 4% in­crease in to­tal fleet size of the group to 110 air­craft in the third quar­ter.

Mean­while, the to­tal net op­er­at­ing profit of the group de­creased 8% year-on-year to RM374.2mil from RM405.5mil in the third quar­ter of 2016. The de­crease was mainly at­trib­ut­able to de­pre­ci­a­tion charges and an in­crease in maintenance costs.

Cash in­flow from op­er­a­tions was at RM605.2mil, com­pared with an in­flow of RM419.3mil in the im­me­di­ate pre­ced­ing quar­ter ended June 30, 2017. Net cash in­flow in the quar­ter amounted to RM118.7mil.

To­tal debt as at the end of Septem­ber was RM9.6bil. The group’s net debt af­ter off­set­ting the cash bal­ances amounted to RM7.4bil.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, Ai­rA­sia said it is of­fer­ing as­sis­tance to non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions and med­i­cal per­son­nel who re­quire air trans­port as­sis­tance to flood-af­fected states in Ke­lan­tan and Tereng­ganu.

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