Finance Update

Malaysia’s AirAsia recorded its third consecutive quarterly loss

Malaysia’s AirAsia X posts Q4 net loss on impairment, higher fuel expense

The long-haul offshoot of Malaysia’s flagship budget airline AirAsia Group said in an exchange statement it provided an impairment due from a joint venture amounting to 24 million ringgit ($5.89 million) during the fourth quarter.

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Malaysia’s AirAsia X recorded its third consecutive quarterly loss on Thursday, dragged down by an impairment provision while rising fuel costs also dented its performance in the October-December period.

The long-haul offshoot of Malaysia’s flagship budget airline AirAsia Group said in an exchange statement it provided an impairment due from a joint venture amounting to 24 million ringgit ($5.89 million) during the fourth quarter.

The airline’s average fuel price rose 29 percent from $69 to $89 per barrel during the period, and it also accounted for higher deferred tax.

AirAsia X said it will be adding up to five aircraft through operating leases this year, via its Thai operation.

Its Malaysian operation is expected to remain with 24 aircraft. It will maximise utilisation of its current fleet, including new route launches as well as increasing frequencies of core routes.

The airline expects its prospects to remain encouraging, it said, with forward booking trend and average fares in the first quarter of 2019 performing within expectations.

In an earlier statement detailing its preliminary operating statistics, the airline said it increased seasonal flight frequency to certain destinations in Australia and Japan, and to Taipei and Bali during the quarter.

Routes to Japan and Indonesia were hit by natural disasters during the quarter, while redeployment of capacity to core markets led to the airline’s load factor – which measures how full plane are – to drop by 5 percentage points to 78 percent.

AirAsia X also commenced flights to two new China destinations which it said softened the load factor in the near term as the routes mature.

The number of passengers carried fell by 3 percent to 1.49 million on the back of a 2 percent increase in capacity.

The airline posted a net loss of 99.27 million ringgit for the fourth quarter versus a net profit 84.4 million a year ago.

Excluding the impact of the impairment, its net operating profit fell 77 percent to 27.4 million ringgit.

Revenue was 6 percent lower at 1.15 billion ringgit.

Its year-ago performance was boosted by favourable foreign exchange and stronger passenger volume in the seasonally busier quarter.

($1 = 4.0760 ringgit)

Source: Reuters

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