Boost for AirAsia in March 2021 as global Covid-19 vaccine programme takes off

An AirAsia counter staff attends to a customer at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) August 28, 2016. — Reuters pic
An AirAsia counter staff attends to a customer at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) August 28, 2016. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — AirAsia Group Bhd has posted operating improvements in March 2021 for all entities as countries worldwide focused on accelerating vaccination programmes.

AirAsia said on a month-to-month basis, key operational metrics progressed positively in March compared to February 2021, with an 84 per cent increase in passengers carried by AirAsia Malaysia, 57 per cent increase in passengers carried by AirAsia Philippines, 29 per cent increase for AirAsia Indonesia, while AirAsia Thailand more than doubled its number of passengers carried.

“AirAsia expects to see solid domestic demand in its key Asean markets in the next quarters as the majority of the population receive their vaccinations and also due to pent-up demand,” it said in a statement today.

The company said AirAsia Malaysia is optimistic that the country’s ongoing inoculation drive would lead to a stronger and sustainable recovery this year.

“Though travel demand during the quarter was softened by the lockdown and interstate travel restrictions imposed since January 2021, AirAsia Malaysia is encouraged by the statistics seen in March.

“Load factor improved by nine percentage points (ppts) to 76 per cent as a result of a higher number of passengers carried,” it said.

AirAsia Indonesia gained a 29 per cent increase in passengers carried and achieved an improvement of two ppts in load factor for March compared with February, amidst the ramping up of public and private inoculations and further easing of restrictions.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Philippines leveraged a strong rebound in travel demand during the quarter, carrying 168,527 passengers and a 43 per cent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2020.

“The higher number of passengers carried resulted in an increased load factor of 10 ppts quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) to 74 per cent,” it said.

However, AirAsia Thailand posted a 65 per cent q-o-q decline in passengers carried due to low travel demand caused by a new wave of Covid-19 which began in the middle of December 2020.

“Nonetheless, domestic travel demand rebounded in March due to the roll-out of vaccines, the extension of domestic tourism stimulus schemes, and lower new infections in the latter part of the quarter,” it said. — Bernama

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