More seats and capacity boost AirAsia’s 4Q17 results

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By AMIN NAHARUL

AirAsia Bhd’s revenues rose to RM2.65 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17) compared to RM1.93 billion recorded in same quarter of 2016, boosted by higher passenger volume and gains from a disposal of a subsidiary.

Earnings at the largest frills-free airline in the region was RM372 million in the quarter compared to RM465.3 million a year ago, according to a filing to Bursa Malaysia

Turnover for the full-year of 2017 jumped to RM9.7 billion from RM6.8 billion for the 12 months of 2016, as additional seats and higher passenger traffic helped the budget carrier deliver a strong set of financial result.

Besides business growth, the airline benefitted from the RM167.7 million gain from the disposal of Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture company.

The company, in its financial statement to the bourse, said AirAsia delivered 1,622,394 additional seats during the quarter compared to the same quarter of 2016, representing a 16% increase in capacity.

The airline also said the total fleet size of the group had also increased to 123 aircraft in 4Q17 from 105 aircraft in 4Q16.

AirAsia said total passengers carried rose 17% and load factor stood at 88% in 4Q17 compared to 87% in 4Q16.

“Average fare has decreased 7% from RM195 in 4Q16 to RM182 in 4Q17, while the overall revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) of the group has decreased 4% to 15.46 sen in 4Q17 against 16.14 sen in 4Q16,” the airline said in its financial statement.

AirAsia, however, incurred a current and deferred taxation charges of RM140 million in the 4Q17.

“Average fare remained consistent at RM176 year-on-year, while the overall RASK of the group increased 3% to 15.13 sen in 2017 against 14.69 sen in 2016,” AirAsia said.

During the current year, the group delivered an additional 3.9 million seats compared to 2016, which represented an additional 10% growth in capacity compared to 2016.

Meanwhile, the company said it plans five new aircraft through operating leases in the 1Q of this year.

“For the 1Q18, despite the volcanic eruption of Mount Sinabung in Indonesia, we remain optimistic as strong demand continues to be observed across most sectors and forward booking remains strong,” said AirAsia.