Thai AirAsia net loss widens to 2.098b Baht in Q3

by BERNAMA / pic by BLOOMBERG

BANGKOK – Asia Aviation Public Company Ltd’s (AAV), Thai AirAsia parent company, net loss widened by 23 per cent to 2.098 billion baht (100 baht=RM12.69) in the third quarter (Q3) ended Sept 30, 2021 from 1.837 billion baht in the same period last year due to the suspension of its operations following the peak of COVID-19 pandemic during the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter dropped 81 per cent to 457.5 million baht compared to the Q3 of 2020 and total passengers transported during the quarter was down by 96 per cent to 79,767 passengers compared to the corresponding period last year.

“This was in accordance with a decrease of 95 per cent of its available seat kilometres (ASK) compared to the same period last year. The load factor during the quarter was 60 per cent and the airline ended the quarter with 60 aircraft,” it said in a filing to Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on Friday.

Asia Aviation and Thai AirAsia chief executive officer Santisuk Klongchaiya said COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak during Q3 with the third wave in Thailand began in April.

“The circumstances had impacted AAV’s profitability but the company embraced innovation and opportunities from capital management to finding new revenue sources to remain competitive and viable,” he said.

He said AAV launched airasia food in Bangkok in August as part of a new offering within airasia Super App, a lifestyle platform that has elevated the business to more than an airline and given it access to a wider customer base while cargo services were also further developed with the network expansion of Teleport.

Going forward, Santisuk said with the improving situation in Thailand and neighbouring countries in the ASEAN region, Thai AirAsia is looking at very encouraging signs of recovery from the fourth quarter of this year onwards after tracking a strongly positive response in the domestic travel segment.

“We are very confident that the aviation and tourism businesses are way past the turbulent times.

“Continuing state tourism promotion campaigns, the widening of the vaccination effort and the country reopening on November 1 have further increased positive sentiment among Thai AirAsia guests.

“Our 14 billion baht fundraising plan has received approval from the board and should be ready by the first quarter of 2022, in time to fuel our competitiveness as foreign travellers return,” he said.

The airline announced a temporary suspension of domestic operation between July 12 and September 2 in compliance with the state containment measures and unrealised foreign exchange loss.

It returned to service starting September 3 under highest health and safety measures aligned with pent up demand for air travel, has allowed Thai AirAsia to gradually resume its route network and increase flight frequencies accordingly.