Malaysia Airlines Q3 performance hit by rising fuel prices, crew shortage

Malaysia Airlines said its yield came under pressure, recording 21.5 sen in 3Q2018, from 22.6 sen in 3Q2017. — Reuters pic
Malaysia Airlines said its yield came under pressure, recording 21.5 sen in 3Q2018, from 22.6 sen in 3Q2017. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 ― Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) said its third quarter (3Q2018) operating performance was affected by stiff competition, rising fuel prices and adverse foreign exchange movements, further exacerbated by crew shortage, especially in July and August. 

In a statement today, MAB said its yield came under pressure, recording 21.5 sen in 3Q2018, from 22.6 sen in 3Q2017.

The airline said this was in part due to the inability to deploy planned peak up-grading of aircraft to a widebody during the period, as a result of crew shortage which impacted revenue.

“The airline has since activated an extensive recruitment exercise, supported by an aggressive cadet enlistment and training programme to build a strong pipeline of crew and is confident that the situation will stabilise by early 2019,” the national carrier said.

MAB, however, said its total revenue average seat per kilometer remained resilient with an increase of 1.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY), driven by a 29 per cent increase in cargo revenue.

On-time performance also increased during the quarter, up by eight per cent, YoY, as a result of improved operational efficiencies in engineering and ground handling.

The airline carried 3.47 million passengers in the quarter under review compared with 3.40 million passengers a year ago, while passenger load factors also increased three per cent to 80.5 per cent from 77.5 per cent in 3Q2017.

Recovery in international business continued in the third quarter with a load factor of 81.7 per cent versus 78.4 per cent in 3Q 2017, it said.

Chief Executive Officer Izham Ismail said the airline would continue to invest in aspects of the customer experience that deliver a competitive edge.

“We have seen good quarterly traction in the year and we are expecting to finish 2018 by reducing the losses of the previous year.  

“Moving forward, 2019 looks similarly challenging but we remain committed to improving performance and reducing costs while managing external factors beyond our control,” he added. ― Bernama

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