Malaysian-based budget carrier AirAsia Berhad released its third quarter 2017 results.
AirAsia’s revenue for the third quarter increases to RM2.45 billion from RM1.69 billion from the same period in previous year. At the same time, net profit increased from RM353.9 million in Q4 2016 to RM505.5 million this year, or up 43%.
The airline saw a 12% growth in passengers carried in this quarter, but also a drop (albeit a small one) in load factor. The budget airline reported a load factor of 87% for the 3rd quarter of the year, whereas it was 88% in the same period last year. In addition, average fare decreased from RM176 in Q3 2016 to RM172 this year, or 2%.
In a statement AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said:
The group is projected to achieve an average load factor of 87% in the fourth quarter based on the existing forward booking trend. In the consolidated accounts combining our Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines units for the third quarter, we managed to overcome higher fuel costs with remarkable revenue growth of 15% year-on-year. We believe that 2017 will be another record year for us. During the quarter, the group has delivered an additional 1,425,576 seat capacity, which represents an additional 14% growth in seat capacity.
AirAsia Group also reported a drop in total net operating profit of 8% between third quarters 2016 and the same period in 2017. Namely, the company ended the three months to 30th September of the last year with an RM405.5 million total net operating profit and this year it was RM374.2 million. According to the Malaysian airline, this is mostly due to higher maintenance costs and ringgit devaluation charges.
Finally, AirAsia finished the period with a net debt of RM7.4 billion. Without offsetting the cash balances, the budget carrier’s total debt until 30th September, 2017 was RM9.69 billion.
AirAsia said it will continue to monitor demand for the last quarter of the year across the majority of its operating sectors.
Malaysian-based budget carrier will finish the year 2017 by adding 12 more aircraft to its fleet in the fourth quarter through operating leases.