AirAsia X Returns to Profit, Expands China, India, Australia Routes

1st Mar 2016

According to the Chief Executive of AirAsia X Benyamin Ismail, the long-haul, low-budget airline is planning to expand its current capacity on several routes it is operating at the moment, including those to China, India and Australia.

Benyamin said to reporters on Monday that the carrier is keen to maintain its cash position at current levels.

AirAsia X chief exec said in an interview:

We are sitting at about sub 200 million ringgit cash now, which I told the team to make sure that we don't go anything below that. That's something we are targeting as we move on every day and every month.

First Profit for AirAsia X after 8 Quarters of Losses

AirAsia X recently returned to profit following eight successive quarters of losing money. The company reported profit in the fourth quarter last Friday, thanks to which its shares went up 8.7 per cent before the close of trading on Monday.

According to Mr Benyamin, the carrier was increasing flight frequency on certain selected routes, where it deemed the traveller demand was sufficiently high and lowering capacity on some flights, mainly to Australia.

Speaking about this, AirAsia X chief executive said:

Australia is one of our second-biggest revenue generators. We are moving toward China and also India. India was quite a surprise...the loads have exceeded expectations.

Last year, the airline raised 109 million US dollars in an equity rights issue in what would apparently be a turnaround of its (until that moment) bad fortunes.

AirAsia X Pushes Back A350, A330NEO Deliveries

The subsidiary to AirAsia also pushed back deliveries of 10 Airbus A350 and 50 Airbus A330NEO aircraft, until it had cash for them. Now, Benyamin says, the plane deferrals are mostly over.

He said:

I give ourselves another one or two years to build that cash, build profitability on all our routes and then later, we will look at bringing more (planes) in, if we want.

Benyamin said that the delivery of Airbus A350s is scheduled for 2021, which gives enough time to AirAsia X to decide whether it still wants to buy them or not.

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