AirAsia X records operating loss in 2018

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AirAsia X has reported a full-year operating loss of MYR218.8 million ($50 million) in 2018 – compared to an operating profit of MYR84.6 million in 2017 – it put down mainly down to significantly higher fuel prices and provision for impairment on amount due from joint venture.

Revenue for 2018 fell by 0.4 per cent to MYR4.54 billion. Expenses rose 5.9 per cent to MYR4.78 billion. The company also turned in an attributable net loss of MYR313 million, compared to a MYR98.9 million net profit last year.

Indonesia AirAsia X made an operating loss of MYR80.9 million in 2018, a rise of 48 per cent. Revenue fell 50 per cent to MYR365 million.

Thai AirAsia X’s full year operating profit rose 38 per cent to MYR56.5 million. Revenue was up 30 per cent to MYR1.49 billion, and profit before tax jumped 79 per cent to MYR63 million.

On a full year basis, AirAsia X Malaysia posted record number of passengers flown at 6.17 million, up six per cent year-on-year (YOY), in-line with seven per cent capacity growth YOY. AirAsia X Thailand’s total passengers carried in 2018 was up 24 per cent to 2.01 million in-line with 32 per cent capacity growth.

In 2019, the Group said it will leverage on AirAsia X Thailand’s momentum and tap into new markets from Bangkok with an additional five A330 aircraft.

AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri said: “The Group has weathered a challenging year with higher global fuel prices. Overall, operationally 2018 has seen many positives as we continue to drive a sustainablelow-cost long-haul business model and solidify our strong brand presence in the markets in which we operate.”

On outlook, Buranasiri said: “We begin 2019 focused on our goal to ensure sustainable growth and profits. AirAsia X Group will be adding five leased aircraft in 2019 in Thailand for a total group fleet of 40 A330s by end of 2019 of which two of these aircraft are the brand new A330neo. This demonstrates our confidence in the medium-to-long haul low-cost space.

“AirAsia X Malaysia will focus on maximising aircraft utilisation of its current fleet and leverage on the Group’s strategy in new route launches as well as increasing frequencies of core routes. AirAsia X Thailand will focus on leveraging on the existing strength of the AirAsia Group network and open up new markets from Bangkok in 2019.

“With a compelling long-term story, our Group intends to solidify its mark on the North Asian market and continue to fine tune our network as we continue our strategy of strengthening market share in our core markets.

“In 2018 alone, AirAsia X Malaysia launched 4 new destinations, Jaipur and Amritsar in India, Changsha and Tianjin in China; while AirAsia X Thailand launched Sapporo and Nagoya in Japan. Further, with the A330neo we will be well poised to expand our route network further, with Europe a possibility.”

He added: “Both North Asia and our existing well performing routes will be a key focus for AirAsia X Group this year as we continue to drive country dominance in our core markets. We look forward to unlock further synergies with AirAsia Group to fully optimise our route network and we are confident of our ability to leverage on our strengths and scale to meet air travel demand in Asia.

“With improved balance sheet and solid forward bookings, as well as AirAsia X Thailand listing in the pipeline, it will provide the necessary cash flow required to continue to strategically expand our network and grow our business as we strive to be the leader in the medium-to-long haul low-cost market.”