AirAsia X asks lessors for lease payment deferrals — report

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24): AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) is looking to delay its lease rental payments to tide itself over during the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, air travel data and analytics company Cirium reported quoting sources.

In an article today, FlightGlobal reported an executive at one of AAX’s lessors telling Cirium that it is unlikely his company will allow AirAsia X to skip lease payments entirely, but may be open to letting it postpone payments.

The report also quoted another executive at a different lessor with exposure to the airline as saying  this is not the first time AAX has asked for lease rental payment deferrals.

According to the report, AAX declined to comment on whether it has asked lessors to defer lease rental payments.

Cirium fleet data showed AAX has 17 Airbus A330-300s on lease, from Aircastle, BOC Aviation, Castlelake, DAE Capital, ICBC Leasing, Macquarie AirFinance, Minsheng Financial Leasing, Skyworks Leasing and Stratos.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2019, AAX’s net loss widened to RM393.67 million from RM213.43 million a year ago, while revenue was down 6.4% to RM3.2 billion from RM3.42 billion. AAX is due to release its fourth-quarter and 2019 financial results this week.

AAX shares closed down 0.5 sen or 4.35% at 11 sen today, with 14.26 million shares done, bringing a market capitalisation of RM456.3 million.