AirAsia X posts RM11m net profit in third quarter

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) returned to the black registering a net profit of RM11.03 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2016 against a net loss of RM288.19 million in the same period last year, thanks to an increase in scheduled flight revenue, ancillary income and aircraft operating lease income.

Revenue expanded 23.9% from RM793.01 million to RM982.4 million.

In a filing with the stock exchange, the long-haul budget carrier said for the quarter under review, passengers carried increased 35% bringing load factor up 3% to 78% despite a 34% capacity injection to 7.75 billion from 5.77 billion available seat kilometer (ASK) as compared to the same period last year.

Its average base fare also recorded a 14% growth to RM501 on the back of healthy demand mainly from China and North Asia markets.

While the group’s revenue per available seat kilometre was down 8% from 13.78 sen to 12.70 sen due to yield pressure arising from increased capacity on existing routes, it stressed that cost per available seat kilometre was significantly reduced to 12.06 sen against 14.32 sen during the same period last year.

AAX said it is on track to record its first full-year profit since listing in July 2013.

Based on the current forward booking trend, the group foresees the expected number of passengers to be carried in the fourth quarter remains promising as forward loads and average fares are trending better than the previous year.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to terrorist attacks, natural disasters, epidemics, economic downturn, fuel price hike and fluctuation in foreign currencies against the ringgit, the group expects its prospects to remain positive,” it said.

For the first nine months of the year, AirAsia X reported a net profit of RM191.53 million versus a net loss of RM547.05 million in the same period last year. This was on the back of a 27.7% increase in revenue from RM2.22 billion to RM2.84 billion.