AirAsia Group carries 20% more passengers in 3Q

AirAsia Group carries 20% more passengers in 3Q
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 9): AirAsia Bhd, Asia's biggest low-cost carrier, carried 20% more passengers for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2015 (3QFY15) at 12.88 million compared with 10.74 million a year ago, in line with the increase in capacity of 15%.

In a statement today, the airline said passenger load factor also rose 3 percentage points (ppt) to 81% in 3QFY15 compared with 78% in 3QFY14.

"At the end of the quarter under review, the group's total fleet size stood at 168 Airbus A320s," it added.

On an individual market basis, Malaysia AirAsia (MAA) carried 6.3 million passengers in 3QFY15, up 19% from 5.29 million passengers a year ago, in line with an 11% capacity increase.

"The double-digit increase in the number of passengers carried was attributed to the recovery of demand from China and the heightened demand for travel during the month long Hari Raya celebration," said AirAsia.

"MAA's load factor stood at 82% for 3QFY15, up 5 ppt from 77% in 3QFY14," it added.

As at Sept 30, MAA operates a fleet of 81 aircraft.

"In 3QFY15, MAA started operating seven new routes from Kuala Lumpur to Chongqing, Dhaka, Goa, Kaohsiung, Manila and Pattaya; and from Johor Baru to Bangkok, while frequencies were added on four routes namely from Kuala Lumpur to Banda Aceh, Johor Baru, Phuket and Chongqing," said AirAsia.

Thai AirAsia (TAA) also saw the number of passengers carried rose 26% to 3.58 million in 3QFY15 from 2.85 million in 3QFY14, matching the 27% increase in capacity resulting from the improvement in the political situation in Thailand.

TAA's load factor, however, was down 1 ppt to 81% in the July to September 2015 period, and took delivery of one additional aircraft, bringing the total number of aircraft in its fleet to 44.

Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) reported a 9% decline in the number of passengers carried to 1.68 million in 3QFY15 from 1.85 million in 3QFY14, as IAA continued with its rationalisation plan, which included a reduction in capacity by 4% and redeployment of aircraft to other short-haul associates.

IAA's load factor was also 4 ppt lower at 75% in 3QFY15 compared with 79% a year ago.

Philippines AirAsia (PAA), meanwhile, carried 901,957 passengers during the three months, up 46% from 617,878 passengers in 3QFY14, in line with a 14% increase in capacity. Load factor grew 19 ppt to 84% from 65%.

AirAsia India saw passenger numbers surged 225% to 416,182 in 3QFY15 from 128,089 a year ago, supported by a 221% increase in capacity. Load also grew 1 ppt to 76% in 3QFY15.

AirAsia shares fell seven sen or 4.86% to close at RM1.37, giving it a market capitalisation of RM3.81 billion

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