KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) posted its fourth consecutive quarterly net profit in the second quarter ended June 30, 2023 (2QFY2023) amounting to RM5.54 million, compared to a massive net loss of RM652.52 million in the same period last year as quarterly revenue soared 379% on the back of a surge in international travel as borders reopened.
A bourse filing on Monday (Aug 28) showed the medium and long-haul airline operator recording revenue of RM512.91 million for the quarter, compared to RM107.18 million in 2QFY2022 as more aircraft were brought back to service.
As of 30 June 2023, the company had 11 aircraft activated, compared to five a year ago. As a result, seat capacity grew by over 26 times year-on-year (y-o-y) to 818,422 seats flown.
During the quarter under review, the company carried a total of 621,984 passengers, delivering a surge of 70 times y-o-y, with a passenger load factor (PLF) of 76%, which is 47 percentage points higher than the 29% PLF reported for the corresponding quarter ended June 30, 2022.
Available seat kilometres (ASK) was recorded 25 times higher y-o-y, standing at 3,509 million, with a recovery rate of 42% against the corresponding period in 2019.
Compared to the same period last year, the number of sectors flown increased by over 27 times from 81 sectors to 2,234 sectors as of 30 June 2023.
In terms of costs, the company’s cost per available seat kilometre normalised to 11.75 sen, driven by higher maintenance costs led by utilisation-driven maintenance cost components. Revenue per available seat kilometre came in at 14.61 sen as the average base fare rationalised to RM533 this quarter on the back of an increase in ASK capacity.
“Consequently, the number of corresponding flying and ground crews has increased by 172% and 209%, respectively. The maintenance cost on the other hand increased on the back of higher utilisation and weakening of currency against the US dollar,” it said.
The group recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of RM100.53 million versus a loss before interest interest tax, depreciation and amortisation of RM691.47 million a year ago.
Compared to the immediate preceding quarter, AAX’s net profit dropped 98.31% from RM328 million in 1QFY2023 due to higher cost maintenance and overhaul as well as aircraft lease, while revenue slipped 6.55% from RM548.84 million due to a low-sales season in the quarter under review.
Looking ahead, AAX chief executive officer Benyamin Ismail said the group remains on track to have at least 16 aircraft operational by the final quarter of 2023 and that it is confident the group will maximise the positive impact of the market once the peak travel season begins at year-end.
“We are also driving our commercial ambitions with new and improved product offerings across all revenue segments. The team works diligently to further enhance our pricing strategy, introduce new products and optimise our sales channel via airasia.com to further elevate the user experience,” he said.
For the first half ended June 30, 2023 (1HFY2023), AAX registered RM333.54 million in net profit on a revenue of RM1.06 billion.
In comparison, net profit came in at RM32.97 billion in the same period a year earlier, after RM33.6 billion of provisions made for default under contracts and liabilities had been forgiven and reversed during the year following the completion of its debt restructuring process. Revenue for the period was RM220.2 million.
On AAX’s Practise Note 17 (PN17) status, Benyamin said that the group had submitted a waiver application to Bursa Securities in July and that material announcements will be made in accordance with due process.
As of end-June, AAX’s cash balance was RM269 million while shareholders’ equity stood at RM96.1 million.
Shares of AAX closed down three sen or 1.2% to RM2.48 on Monday, giving it a market value of RM1.11 billion. The stock has risen over 313% year-to-date.