Thai AirAsia climbs back to 2019 figures

BANGKOK, 26 October 2023: Asia Aviation Plc announced operating statistics for the third quarter of the financial year 2023 (3Q2023) this week, showing Thai AirAsia served 4.6 million passengers (Domestic 2.7 million passengers and international 1.8 million passengers).  

The owning company of TAA confirmed the airline strongly performed with a 93% passenger load factor during the third quarter, while

internationally, TAA represented 83% compared to 3Q2019. By the end of the third quarter, the airline operated 46 aircraft out of a total fleet of 54.

In the third quarter of 2023, the tourism industry in Thailand remained resilient, welcoming approximately 7 million international arrivals compared to 6.5 million each seen in the first and second quarters of the year. 

Thai AirAsia demonstrated substantial year-on-year progress, carrying 4.6 million domestic passengers, a 65% increase compared to 3Q2022 and a recovery of 86% t compared to 3Q2019. This was supported by the operation of 5.1 million seats in total capacity, representing a 78% recovery compared to 3Q2019 (pre-Covid).

Internationally, TAA saw a steady improvement, with 1.8 million passengers transported in 3Q2023, representing an 83% recovery compared to 3Q2019. This resurgence was primarily driven by the resumption of flights to East Asia, particularly  China. Passengers on flights to and from China continued to rebound, with 349,000 passengers carried in 3Q2023, an 8% increase from the preceding quarter (2Q2023). 

TAA optimised flights to China, ending the quarter at 71 flights a week, resulting in an improved load factor of 87%, up from 74% in 2Q2023. Furthermore, during this quarter, TAA reintroduced previously suspended routes and expanded its network by adding new routes, such as Chiang Mai to Macau and Don Mueang to Colombo (Sri Lanka). Overall, capacity flown to Hong Kong and Macau increased by 22% from 2Q2023 due to enhanced resources at local airports and travel demand.

Since China reopened in January this year, Thailand has welcomed 2.5 million Chinese tourists. The visa-free measure for Chinese tourists (effective from 25 September 2023 to 29 February 2024) should speed up the recovery of Chinese inbound tourists to Thailand. However, the Bangkok shopping mall killing has impacted arrivals from China due to security concerns. 

In the fourth quarter of 2023, TAA plans to capture the high seasonal demand by introducing additional routes to Ahmedabad and Guwahati in India while increasing the frequency of flights on existing routes, especially in the domestic market.

(1) Number of earned seats flown; earned seats comprise seats sold to passengers, including no-shows

(2) Number of seats flown

(3) Number of passengers carried as a percentage of capacity

(4) Available seat kilometres (ASK) measures an airline’s passenger capacity and is calculated from the total seats flown multiplied by the number of kilometres flown.

(5) Revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) measures passenger volume carried by an airline and is calculated from the number of passengers multiplied by the number of kilometres these passengers have flown.

(6) Number of flights flown.

(7) Number of total aircraft at quarter end.