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Long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC) AirAsia X reported a first-quarter net profit of MYR10.3 million ($2.3 million), down 94% compared to net profit of MYR179.5 million ($42 million) in the year-ago quarter.
First-quarter operating revenue was up 22% to MYR1.2 million and operating profit fell 43% year-over-year (YOY) to MYR60.3 million.
Passengers carried rose 33%, lifting load factor by two percentage points to 84%. However, average fares fell 4% and unit revenues were down 6%–11%. Capacity for the quarter increased 29% YOY to 8.2 million ASKs.
AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranum said the group is experiencing “short-term earnings pressure” from currency weakness versus the dollar, as well as from its rapid capacity growth rate of nearly 30% during the quarter. Meranun said the “newly introduced capacity will be well worth the long-term strategic value as yields will rise as this new capacity matures.”
The group highlighted a strong performance from its Thai AirAsia X affiliate, which achieved a net profit of $5.5 million. The Thai carrier’s load factor rose 5 points to 94%, and revenue increased 17% versus capacity growth of 9%.
The Indonesian affiliate, which was previously suspended, resumed operations this month. Indonesia AirAsia X introduced a Bali–Kuala Lumpur–Mumbai flight May 19, and on May 24 launched a service from Bali to Tokyo Narita International Airport.
Looking forward, AirAsia X is focused on improving its aircraft-utilization rate for the remainder of this year, the group said. This will allow it to add frequencies on high-yielding routes, as well as adding new routes in the second half.