AirAsia X says it’s back in profit

AirAsia X X (AAX) said it posted a quarterly net profit of RM25.1 million (US$5.6 million) compared to a net loss of RM652.5 million in the preceding quarter. Revenue was slightly lower at RM100.1 million as compared to RM107.2 million during the period ending 30 June 2022 (4Q22) on the back of a reduction in  revenue from the freight services segment due to normalised scheduled flights operations.

In other segments, recovery across all key metrics has significantly  improved as scheduled passenger and charter flights as well as ancillary revenues have demonstrated a strong recovery compared to the preceding quarter. For 5Q22, the Company posted an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of RM25.4 million while profit before tax for the period stood at RM23.8 million.

Operationally, the Company reported Passenger Load Factor (PLF) was recorded at 73% during the quarter – less than 10 percentage points short of its pre-COVID-19 PLF of 81% in 2019. The Company carried a total of 80,385 passengers during the period under review as compared to 8,892 passengers during the period from April – June 2022. Seat capacity grew to 110,615 during the quarter from 27,521 in the preceding quarter as additional markets and frequencies were introduced in 5Q22.

During the period under review, the total number of sectors flown increased to 291 sectors from 226 sectors in 4Q22. Following its return to scheduled services in April 2022, the Company has made notable progress in its network recovery – adding Sydney and two new dense-short-haul routes to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to its network in September 2022. AAX also introduced increased frequency to existing markets in Seoul and Delhi to cater for strong pent up demand.

In terms of balance sheet and cashflow, the Company charted a cash balance of RM79.5 million for the period ending 30 September 2022 – an increase of beyond 100% as compared to RM25.1 million in the preceding quarter. This was achieved  predominantly on the back of a V-shaped air travel revival  supporting the resumption of scheduled passenger flights to many of its most popular and profitable destinations, along with charter and cargo flights.

AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail said: “AAX is now well on track in its recovery path even as the airline is compelled to operate in a challenging operational environment dictated by high fuel prices and a weakened Malaysian Ringgit against the US Dollar. While we are cautious of the strenuous operating conditions, we remain confident that the recovery of the Company is on the horizon, if not already within our reach. In the previous quarter we resumed our scheduled passenger flights to Seoul and Delhi, and are pleased to report that we have also resumed our services to Sydney and introduced additional frequencies to Seoul and Delhi in 5Q22. Due to high demand, AAX had also commenced operations to dense, short-haul routes during the quarter where demand has exceeded currently available aircraft capacity; namely Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. At the beginning of 5Q22, AAX was charting three flights per week and this surged to 23 flights per week by the end of the period under review.”

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