Malaysia’s AirAsia posts first quarterly loss since 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd flipped to a net loss in the fourth quarter, its first quarterly loss in more than three years as higher fuel prices and operating lease costs dented income.
To boost revenue, the chief executive of Asia's largest budget carrier said the group would step up efforts to sell more travel services on its website when customers booked flights.
AirAsia posted a bigger than expected loss of RM395 million (S$131m) for the period, versus a RM372.6m profit a year earlier. Refinitiv data showed one analyst had forecast a RM63.2m loss.
Malaysia's flagship budget carrier said in a stock exchange filing that fuel consumption rose 12 per cent and its average price climbed 33 per cent to US$92 (S$124) a barrel in the three months to Dec 31. Fuel costs rose 48 per cent to RM1.1 billion.
Operating lease expenses rose 115 per cent to RM413.4m, after AirAsia sold and leased back aircraft.
Revenue grew 6.2 per cent to RM2.82 billion, as total passengers carried by the airline swelled 16 percent to 12.1 million, although this trailed a 21 per cent capacity increase.
The passenger load factor for the period, a measure of how full planes are, fell 4 percentage points to 84 per cent.
The airline said the rise in fuel costs had a major impact, saying it had hedged 52 per cent of its 2019 needs at US$63.41 a barrel for Brent. - REUTERS