Sunday 01 Oct 2023
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on March 20, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Low-cost carrier AirAsia Group Bhd will be operating a limited number of domestic and international flights during the 14-day Movement Control Order period aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 infection.

When contacted, a spokesperson for the airline said the limited operations are subject to change due to the fluidity of the situation.

“Affected guests will be promptly notified via email or SMS. AirAsia strongly encourages guests to update their contact details using the “My Bookings” feature on to ensure that they receive timely notifications.

Guests may check on their flights via the “Flight Status” feature, as well as available flights on the website and mobile application.

For further and latest information on options and eligibility related to Covid-19, guests can visit the Covid-19 “Customer Guide,” the spokesperson responded.

In a note to investors yesterday, AmInvestment Bank Research said it is projecting a wider loss of RM985.4 million for AirAsia for its financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20), from RM784.2 million previously. For FY21, the research house is forecasting a smaller net profit of RM258.9 million, from a net profit of RM482.3 million previously.

It said the earnings downgrade is to mainly reflect a 10% contraction in passengers for FY20, from a 5% contraction previously, against a backdrop of weak demand for air travel currently followed by the cancellation of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY2020).

“We believe the cancellation of VMY2020 will add pressure to airlines including AirAsia that are already suffering from the weak air travel demand due to the Covid-19 outbreak. AirAsia has already seen a double-digit year-on-year decline in its passengers since February,” it added.

The research house cuts its fair value on the budget carrier to 50 sen, from 94 sen previously and maintained its “sell” call on the airline.

AirAsia shares closed at 52 sen yesterday after dropping nine sen or 14.8%. It saw 48.54 million shares done.

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