Malaysia’s budget carrier AirAsia Group Bhd on June 6 reported a first-quarter loss amounting to 803.3 ringgit (US$187 million). In contrast, last year during the same period, AirAsia recorded a profit of 96.1 ringgit.

The company felt a hard impact caused by coronavirus which slashed travel demand to record lows. During first 3 months of 2020 the airline carried 22% less passengers than during the same period in 2019 totaling only 9.85 million passengers. The revenue decreased by 15% to 2.31 billion ringgit with cost per unit rising by 36%. Reported load factor is 77%, an 11% year on year drop.

CEO of AirAsia Tony Hernandez told that the group succeeded to cut down on expenditure by at least 50% this year. In a separate statement the CEO told that he was encouraged by the strong demand seen since the resumption of operations in late April.

“We are aiming to increase our flight frequencies to around 50% of our pre-COVID operations and we look forward to resuming all domestic routes in the coming weeks and months.” President for the group’s airlines business Bo Lingam told in a published statement.