AirAsia captures high passenger load factor in first quarter of 2012
Posted on April 30, 2012, Monday
KUCHING: The share swap between AirAsia and MAS has created more tension among MAS’ powerful unionised workforce and rumours contend that the AirAsia MAS share swap may soon be scrapped.
With or without the share swap, an investment analyst at OSK Research Sdn Bhd (OSK Research) believed that Air Asia would still benefit from the capacity cuts by MAS which was unlikely to boost its capacity anytime soon in view of its ailing financial condition.
For the first quarter (1Q) AirAsia recorded a stunning operating statistic as the airline passenger’s capacity, measured by available seat kilometre (ASK) and revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) accounted for 24 per cent of OSK Research’s full year forecasts.
AirAsia reported that it carried 4.82 million passengers from the Malaysian side, up by 12 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), with its load factor sustaining well at 80 per cent. The encouraging numbers and sustainable load factors were driven by the introduction of new routes and increase in capacity.
“We reckon AirAsia has benefited strongly form the capacity cuts by MAS in 1Q and its yields will continue to be stronger y-o-y,” said the research firm.
It affirmed that AirAsia’s high yield and stronger earnings could offset the impact of higher jet fuel, thus it would likely report better earnings y-o-y at RM290 million (versus 1QFY11 of RM263 million) but lower on a q-o-q basis (versus 4QFY11 of RM313 million).
OSK Research maintained its forecast on AirAsia as it assumed the low cost carrier was poised to see more yield upside arising from the withdrawal of Firefly’s East Malaysia routes, plus earnings from its ongoing joint ventures that were expected to contribute more this year.