AirAsia X reports a sad tale of Q1 setbacks

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 April 2020: First quarter 2020 results for AirAsia X predictably present a dire outlook for the low-cost airline as passengers carried dropped 25% ahead of a network shutdown.

AirAsia X announced its operating statistics for the first quarter of 2020 showing the company posted a passenger load factor of 74% in 1Q20, down by 9% year-on-year. The company’s available seats per kilometre (ASK) capacity reduced by 21% to 6,874 million.

The significant drop in available capacity and passengers carried is a result of the severe impact of Covid-19, which has affected travel demand globally. Subsequent travel bans and national lockdowns forced the airline to reduce flight frequency across the network and temporarily suspend all routes.

In February, during the onset of Covid-19, AirAsia X Malaysia implemented capacity management to reduce flights to China as travel restrictions tightened and demand softened.

In the following month, capacity management had been executed in almost 90% of the company’s network, including Australia, Japan, South Korea and India.

A total of four routes were terminated in March, namely Tianjin, Wuhan, Lanzhou and Jaipur. AirAsia X Malaysia hibernated its entire fleet and suspended all scheduled operations for two months effective 28 March. The fleet size of AirAsia X Malaysia remained at 24 A330s as of 31 March 2020.

During the quarter under review, AirAsia X Thailand reported a passenger load factor of 77%, a decline of 13% compared to the same period last year.

ASK* capacity decreased by 22% YoY to 2,645 million in 1Q20, while the passengers carried totalled 474,150. Following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent travel restrictions across the Asia-Pacific, AirAsia X Thailand suspended all scheduled operations for three months effective 16 March.

AirAsia X Thailand’s fleet size remained at 14 A330s during the quarter. This brings the AirAsia X Group’s fleet to 40 A330s as at the end of 1Q20, including two aircraft with AirAsia X Indonesia.

(*) ASK: Available Seat Kilometres measures an airline’s potential passenger capacity.