Weak Thai baht troubles Thai AirAsia

BANGKOK, 15 May 2024: Thai AirAsia’s results for the first quarter of 2024 recorded a 52% increase in revenue, while positive gross earnings before taxes increased 78%. However, the company booked a net loss of THB409.1 million during 1Q2024 due to the Thai baht weakening.

Asia Aviation PLC (AAV), the sole shareholder of Thai Airasia Co. Ltd (TAA), has announced its operational results for the first quarter of 2024, reporting revenues from sales and services reached THB13,793.7 million, an increase of 52% year-on-year, and continued positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of THB3,094.2 million, up 78% from the same period last year. 

A 1Q2024 core profit of THB1,640 million is on the table if you exclude FX loss.

However, the company booked a net loss of THB409.1 million due to the depreciation of the Thai Baht, which led to a foreign exchange loss of THB2,049.4 million. Cashflow was not impacted and remained positive. 

Excluding the foreign exchange loss, AAV achieved a core profit of THB1,640.3 million in the first quarter, turning around a loss of THB203.2 million during the same period last year.

In 1Q2024, TAA transported 5.5 million passengers, up 19% year-on-year, by operating 50 of its fleet of 56 aircraft. New routes introduced in the quarter included Hat Yai-Singapore and Don Mueang-Kaohsiung. Seat capacity recovered in 1Q2024 to 90%, while passenger traffic recovered to 93% of the total seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Asia Aviation PCL and Thai AirAsia Co Ltd CEO Santisuk Klongchaiya stated: “Passenger volumes continued to grow from 4Q2023 with the load factor reaching a record high of 93% this quarter (1Q2024). Our domestic market share by the end of March 2024 was also at a record high of 40% in an affirmation of our brand’s leadership. We supplemented our inherent strengths, including having a larger fleet than our competitors and our on-time performance, with targeted marketing efforts aimed at different customer groups, which resulted in a higher and wider brand awareness of Thai AirAsia in the market.

“We have seen exceptional growth in our international operations during the quarter. We benefitted notably from lifting visa requirements between Thailand and China in March, which resulted in a surge in both incoming and outgoing travellers between both countries, while we continued to see strong responses in India, ASEAN, Taiwan and Japan. 

During the quarter, TAA launched Don Mueang-Beijing and Fifth Freedom routes Don Mueang-Taipei-Okinawa and Don Mueang-Kaohsiung-Tokyo (Narita), which will begin operation in Quarter 2. These provide opportunities for us to connect with new high-potential customer groups in the wider region.”

For 2Q2024, TAA plans to stimulate domestic and international travel while evaluating frequency increases for the most popular routes to China in Quarter 3. With the government negotiating for a larger quota for tourists from India, positive news is expected for the aviation industry soon, and the airline is looking forward to further seat allocations for this market from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

For all of 2024, TAA should achieve a passenger target of 20 to 21 million passengers with a load factor average of 90%. It would translate to a 20 to 23% revenue growth from sales and services compared to last year as the company looks to expand its fleet to 60 operating aircraft by year-end.


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