AirAsia Group records 14% passengers increase in 2018
(The Star, 28 Jan 2019) KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd recorded a 14% increase in passengers carried in 2018 to 44.43 million from 39.09 million in 2017, according to the low-cost carrier group.
It said on Monday that available seat kilometres (ASK) rose 18% to 66.26 million from 58.31 million while revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) increased by 10% to 55.96mil from 50.80mil.
However, its load factor fell by three percentage points to 85% from 88%. The size of fleet at the end of FY18 increased to 141 planes from 116 planes.
For the Malaysian operations, the number of passengers carried rose by 11% to 33.33 million last year from 29.18 million in 2017.
The ASK rose 12% to 48.45 million from 43.27 million while RPK increased by 8% to 41.22 million from 38.06 million. Its load factor fell four percentage points to 85% from 89%.
AirAsia Group said for the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4 2018), the total passengers carried increased by 16% to 12.11 million in the seasonally strong quarter from 10.44 million a year ago.
“Load factor was 84%, down four percentage points as a result of a significant increase in capacity. ASK grew by 14% year-on-year. This was in line with our strategy to continuously grow our market share.
“Malaysia recorded a 9% increase in ASK, and introduced a good mix of domestic and international routes for Q4. Total passengers carried saw growth of 9% to reach over 8.5 million pax. Load factor was down five percentage points to 84%, owing to the sizeable 16% increase in capacity year-on-year,” it said.
AirAsia Group said as for AirAsia Indonesia, the eight aircraft that were previously operated by PT. Indonesia AirAsia Extra (IAAX) have been transferred back to AirAsia Indonesia.
As a result, Q4 numbers were higher than usual, recording a 56% increase in passengers carried, load was up three percentage points recording 82% year-on-year.
Its Philippines operations put in an excellent performance in Q4 2018.
“Despite the aggressive 20% seat capacity added for both domestic and international sectors, load factor held strong at 89%, resulting in passengers carried surpassing the capacity added, indicating strong air travel demand in the Philippines,” it said.
AirAsia Group said AirAsia Thailand launched numerous new routes to China and India in Q4 2018, with ASK recording a year-on-year increase of 8%.
“AirAsia Thailand saw a recovery of international tourists into Thailand in the Q4 2018 and managed to grow passengers carried by 3%, recording a load factor of 86%.
“AirAsia India carried 1.9 million passengers in Q4 2018, a substantial increase of 37% compared to the same period in 2017. Despite the aggressive capacity added, load was up by one percentage point to 86%, in line with our goal to connect Indian passengers to our Asean destinations in 2019.
AirAsia Japan (AAJ) achieved a load of 72% in Q4 2018, up four percentage points from the same period last year. Passengers carried also recorded a large increase of 122% year-on-year to 70,778 pax. AAJ will launch its first international inaugural flight to Taipei on Feb 1, 2019,” it said.