AirAsia X delivers historic financial results, record post-COVID-19 Net Profit of over RM153 million with only 50% of fleet activated. Net profit rose to RM153.5 million on the back of strong fares, despite operating only seven aircraft and amidst fuel price fluctuations.
SEPANG – AirAsia X Berhad, the mid-range affiliate airline of AirAsia Aviation Group reported its financial results for the Sixth Quarter of 2022 and full Financial Year 2022 ending 31 December 2022.
The company recorded a significant improvement in revenue of RM339.3 million in 6Q22 by carrying 337,638 passengers, boosted by the year-end peak travel season. In addition, average base fare in 6Q22 was a record-high at RM866 strengthened by the as-anticipated and continuing pent-up demand for international air travel within the region. Ancillary revenue per passengers marked RM196 during the quarter, up 17% compared to the same period in 2019. Passenger Load Factor (“PLF”) was healthy at 79%, up six percentage points from the previous quarter, and showed an over 97% recovery of the same period in 2019. These positive key metrics resulted in the Company posting net operating profit of RM149.6 million and net profit of RM153.5 million. The Company has also managed to strengthen its cash position, which stood at RM181.9 million as of December 2022.
On the cost side, the company showed a significant improvement. The Cost per Available Seat Kilometre (“CASK”) in 6Q22 was recorded at 9.98 sen compared to 13.49 sen in 5Q22, while CASK ex-fuel dropped substantially to 1.42 sen from 6.95 sen in 5Q22. When compared to 4Q19, both CASK and CASK ex-fuel reduced substantially by 25% and 83% respectively, on the back of a revised cost structure post-restructuring. Revenue per Available Seat Kilometres (“RASK”) for the quarter stood at 19.96 sen, an increase of 13% from 5Q22, and surged by 53% when compared to RASK of 13 sen in 4Q19. In 6Q22, the Company launched flights to Melbourne, Perth, Sydney-Auckland, Tokyo-Haneda, Sapporo, Taipei, Jeddah and Bali-Denpasar, ending the quarter with 14 routes within its network.
On a full financial year basis, the company reported a revenue of RM878.2 million and a net profit of RM33 billion, predominantly attributable to the return of scheduled passenger flight operations in the second half of 2022 as travel restrictions ease. Driven by the return of demand after a two-year lockdown period, the Company carried a total of 417,195 passengers during the year, with a healthy PLF of 78%.
Discussing the outlook for the company, AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “For the year 2023, the Company expects to relaunch more of its profitable destinations and looks forward to the return to China with the announcement of the reopening of the country’s border in January 2023, in addition to our planned inaugural flight to Turkey this year. Most recently in February 2023, we resumed services to Busan, South Korea, and have added more flights to the existing routes in our network.
The Company is optimistic of the upward fare trend in the near term as demand for international air travel remains high. While we expect this to somewhat rationalise, we do not foresee the fare trend dropping beyond pre-pandemic levels. As we rise up to meet the ever-thriving demand for flights, we are diligent in ensuring that aircraft within the Company’s fleet will be operational within the stipulated timeline, with all safety requirements met. As we speak, we are also in varying degrees of engagement with third-party aircraft lessors for induction of additional aircraft within its fleet. By the year 2024, we expect to have a total of 17 A330s within our fleet, active and operational.”
In terms of associate’s performance, the company is pleased to announce that AirAsia X Thailand (“TAAX”) posted a revenue of RM264.2 million, with a net profit of RM357.3 million on the back of unrealised forex gain; barring the gain, TAAX’s core net profit would be RM12.8 million. TAAX’s cash position for the period ended December 2022 stood at RM199.3 million.
For the year, TAAX carried a total of 279,707 passengers, with a very high PLF of 88%. Beginning in June 2022, TAAX launched flights to Seoul and ended the year with additions of Tokyo-Narita, Osaka, Sapporo, Sydney and Melbourne within its network.
As of the end of December 2022, AirAsia X’s fleet size stood at 14 A330s, with seven aircraft activated and operational. TAAX’s fleet size for the same period stood at eight A330s, with five aircraft activated and operational.
With regards to the performance of AirAsia X and TAAX (collectively, the “AirAsia X Group” or the “Group”), Chairman of AirAsia X Tunku Dato’ Mahmood Fawzy said: “With the standstill brought upon by the pandemic well behind us, the AirAsia X Group is on a strong growth trajectory to support significant pent-up demand for affordable mid-range travel. The Group’s restructuring plan is progressing well as planned as it continues to provide scheduled passenger services where there is greatest demand.”
CEO of Capital A Berhad (“Capital A”), Tony Fernandes and President (Airlines) of Capital A, Bo Lingam concurred: “We have been working closely with AirAsia X Group to reinforce our foundations, leveraging synergies from the wider group under Capital A. The commercial and operation teams have been working very closely, especially in the route selection to maximise connectivity, which ultimately drives up our traffic. Even with one additional operating aircraft, Teleport has successfully delivered a 26% increase in freight revenue to RM36 million for AirAsia X during the quarter. With the launch of AskBo, we hope to address and better manage the concerns and issues of our customers, and provide better service and experience.”
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