AirAsia X turns first profit since 2019, plans to double its A330s by mid-2023

Shutterstock / Nutkamol komolvanich

AirAsia X (AAX), the low-cost medium and long-haul airline of AirAsia Group, turned a net profit of RM25.1 million ($5.4 million), its first profit since 2019.  

AirAsia X restarted its passenger operations in February 2022 and announced the completion of its 17-month long debt restructuring scheme in March 2022.  

In its fifth quarter (5Q22) financial statement ending September 30, 2022, the airline outperformed a net loss of RM652.5 million ($142.6 million) posted in the previous quarter, recording as quarterly revenue of RM100.1 million ($218 million) in 5Q22.  

The airline almost tripled its cash balance to RM79.5 million ($17.3 million), up from RM25.1 million ($5.4 million) during the previous quarter.  

In a statement, the airline attributed its results to the recovery of key metrics and improved revenues across scheduled passenger, charter flights and ancillary revenues.  

“AAX is now well on track in its recovery path even as the airline is compelled to operate in a challenging operational environment dictated by high fuel prices and a weakened Malaysian Ringgit against the US Dollar,” Benyamin Ismail AirAsia X Malaysia CEO said.  

Ismail added: “While we are cautious of the strenuous operating conditions, we remain confident that the recovery of the Company is on the horizon, if not already within our reach.”  

Restoring old routes and aircraft capacity and hiring frenzy  

On the back of its positive 5Q22 results, AirAsia X has resumed previous scheduled passenger flights to Seoul, Delhi and Syndey.   

High demand for its mid-range network has also driven the airline to announce the return of its services to some of its popular destinations such as Melbourne, Perth, Auckland, Tokyo-Haneda, Hokkaido-Sapporo, Jeddah and Bali-Denpasar.  

Ismail also confirmed that demand on some short-haul routes (Kota Kinabalu and Kuching) exceeded the current available aircraft capacity during the quarter and that the airline will be reactivating more aircraft capacity.  

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back onboard with us as we rise up to meet the strong pent-up demand for medium haul air travel across Asia. Importantly I am also thrilled to confirm that we are reactivating more aircraft to service, bringing back furloughed staff by the first quarter of next year and are now recruiting new flight crew once again.”  

AirAsia X to double A330 aircraft by the first half of 2023  

AAX currently operates a fleet of six A330s from a fleet of nine A330 aircraft.  

However, AAX expects to increase its operating fleet to 13 A330 aircraft by the first half of 2023 to meet strong consumer demand.  

Tunku Dato’ Mahmood Fawzy, Chairman of AirAsia X stated that the airline expects to reach more than 15 hours of aircraft utilization and introduce daily frequencies to its core markets for selected routes with high demand. 

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