Covid-19 drags AirAsia Group to record net loss of RM967.15m in Q1

Covid-19 pushed AirAsia Group Bhd to record a net loss of RM967.15 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (1Q20). — Reuters pic
Covid-19 pushed AirAsia Group Bhd to record a net loss of RM967.15 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (1Q20). — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 ― The Covid-19 pandemic took a serious toll on AirAsia Group Bhd financial performance, pushing the airline group to record a net loss of RM967.15 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (1Q20), against a net profit of RM21.31 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue fell to RM2.31 billion from RM2.73 billion previously.

“Fears of the spread of the virus, as well as travel restrictions and border controls announced by the government of different countries led to a collapsed in demand for air travel in the month of February and March 2020,” said the low-cost airline group in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today.

Despite significant challenges facing the airline industry, with proactive capacity and cost management, coupled with a strong performance from the non-airline businesses, AirAsia Group reported breakeven earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

As for the airline business, total group revenue for 1Q20 contracted by 18 per cent to RM2.16 billion year-on-year (YoY) amid increasing and unprecedented travel restrictions due to Covid-19.

The Group had responded proactively with capacity management, which had shown results with 1Q20 reporting a healthy load factor of 77 per cent.

Capacity reductions were mainly from Malaysia and the Philippines, by 17 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively as domestic routes and international routes were halted mid-March.

Indonesia, however, increased its capacity by 10 per cent by redeploying the additional international routes capacity to domestic markets.

Meanwhile, the non-airline segment saw Teleport recorded a 49 per cent increase in revenue to RM150.4 million as it had successfully completed its cargo consolidation across the group’s Asean airline operating companies.

Big Pay reported a 161 per cent growth in revenue as it gains traction with the expansion of remittance corridors to include India, Bangladesh and Nepal, while AirAsia.com revenue went up 118 per cent as it rolls out new offers, promotions, flight and hotel bundle packages.

The airline's share on Bursa Malaysia was halted this morning. It was last traded at 85.5 sen. ― Bernama

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