World

AirAsia PH cuts losses by 78% in Q3

AirAsia PH cuts losses by 78% in Q3

Air Asia Philippines saw smaller losses in the third quarter of the year on robust demand for budget air travel.
In a stock exchange filing, Air Asia Philippines’ Malaysian operator, Air Asia Group Berhad, said losses during the quarter amounted to P367 million, lower by 78.4 percent from P1.7 billion during the same period in 2018.

The decline came as revenues surged higher by 40 percent to P6.22 billion.

AirAsia attributed the gains to strong demand. It carried 2.1 million passengers during the period, up 33 percent, as it added more flights and aircraft.

“AirAsia Philippines clearly benefited from the aggressive capacity expansion and aided by the reopening of Boracay Island,” AirAsia Group Bhd president Bo Lingam said on Thursday.

AirAsia Philippines said this also helped to gain market share against domestic rivals. It ended the third quarter with a 19-percent market share, up 1 percentage point.

Air Asia Philippines added three planes to end the period with 24 Airbus A320s, used for regional, international and domestic flights. It plans to add two more aircraft next year, AirAsia Group Bhd said in its presentation.

The carrier’s fleet is expected to double to about 50 planes in the next few years, company chair Joseph Omar Castillo had said.

This will be partly funded by a planned $200-million initial public offering in late 2020 or early 2021.

The family of businessman and Rep. Michael Romero recently cemented control of AirAsia Inc., the operator of AirAsia Philippines. This followed the acquisition of the 15.6-percent stake in the carrier from Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco, AirAsia Philippines’ last local partner.

Following that transaction, F&S Holdings of the Romero family now owns about 60 percent of AirAsia Inc. while the rest is held by the AirAsia Group’s Malaysian founders.