AirAsia Thailand major shareholder posts 2Q losses

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Asia Aviation PLC, the major shareholder in Thai AirAsia, said it posted a net loss of 1.69 billion baht (US$50.5 million) during the second quarter of 2021, compared to a net loss of 1.14 billion million in the same period last year. Results for the first half of 2021 (1H2021) saw Asia Aviation PLC post 2.43 billion in revenue and a net loss of 3.55 billion baht.

The company blamed the results on a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand. It said Thai AirAsia recorded 721,794 passengers in the quarter, up 155 percent due to increased travel demand during the Songkran festival in mid-April. Comparisons were made with Q2 2020 when passenger traffic plummeted due to fleet hibernation. Consequently, the load factor in Q2 2021 stood at 61 percent compared with 52 percent during the second quarter of 2020.

Asia Aviation PLC and Thai AirAsia CEO, Santisuk Klongchaiya, said the company’s results in the second quarter “remained subdued” and the company was working to contain costs and seeking new funding in the form of soft loans and restructuring the company’s capital base.

Looking at the second half the airline noted that in July, Thailand started pilot schemes to reopen tourism in Phuket and Samui to vaccinated travellers without quarantine. However, the COVID-19 situation in the country has deteriorated and suffered from a slow national vaccination rollout. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand issued an announcement prohibiting airlines from flying passengers in/out of the maximum control zone. Thai AirAsia responded by suspending all scheduled domestic flight operations from early July to the end of August.

Commenting on the outlook, Santisuk said: “The most important task for the latter half of the year will be maintaining fiscal discipline and supporting liquidity. We will continually be assessing risk, but we believe that our short-term policies will soften the blow of external factors…we can only encourage everyone at this time to take care of themselves and assure that when the opportunity returns and demand for travel begins to rise, Thai AirAsia will be ready to return to robust growth.”

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