AirAsia posts 9% passenger growth in 4Q on the back of 11% capacity expansion

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): AirAsia Group Bhd has recorded a 9% increase year-on-year (y-o-y) in the number of passengers carried to 13.17 million for the fourth quarter ended December, 2019 from 12.11 million passengers previously.

In the same period, the carrier’s capacity expanded by 11% y-o-y to 16.02 million passengers from 14.38 million, driven by large increases in Indonesia and the Philippines.  

However, load factor, which is the number of passengers carried as a percentage of capacity, dipped slightly to 82% from 84% due to the increased capacity.  

This was particularly significant for AirAsia Indonesia whose capacity increase was 32% higher than in 4QFY18, while the total number of passengers carried by the carrier grew 30% y-o-y.

"During the period, AirAsia Indonesia launched six new routes, which are Jakarta-Belitung, Jakarta-Sorong, Kuala Lumpur-Belitung, Kuala Lumpur-Pontianak, Jakarta-Johor Bahru and Surabaya-Lombok," AirAsia said in a statement today.

AirAsia Philippines also posted significant capacity growth during the quarter, up 27% y-o-y following the introduction of a new route, Manila-Bacolod, in addition to frequency increases across domestic and international routes such as Cagayan de Oro-Manila, Manila-Caticlan and Bangkok-Manila.

The number of passengers carried by AirAsia Philippines grew by 21% y-o-y.  

AirAsia Malaysia also launched two new international routes, including a new route to Da-Lat in Vietnam from Kuala Lumpur.

For the full financial year 2019 (FY19), AirAsia carried 12% more passengers y-o-y or a total of 83.5 million passengers.

"Capacity expansion was significant during the year at 11% y-o-y on the back of taking 19 more aircraft, ending the year with a fleet size of 243 aircraft. AirAsia Group successfully achieved its target load factor of 85% for six AOCs (air operator’s certificate) in 2019," AirAsia added.

Shares of AirAsia closed down 2 sen or 1.33% at RM1.48, which translates to a market capitalisation of RM4.95 billion.