Asia Aviation Plc. (AAV), the parent company of Thai AirAsia Co. Ltd. (TAA), has reported its operational results for the 3rd Quarter of 2020 (3Q2020) with a total revenue at Baht 2,403.2 million, up 8% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) or down 75% year-on-year (YoY) as a decrease in capacity to better match demand. The expenditure dropped by more than 50% YoY along with strict cost control, while there was an unrealised loss on the exchange rate in relation to underlying liability, leading to a net loss of Baht 1,836.8 million. The gross loss improved from the previous quarter on the back of the resumption of domestic flights to almost full pre-COVID-19-capacity with the relaxing of travel restrictions. Over 1.86 million passengers were flown during the quarter with an average load factor of 65%. The new flight hub at Suvarnabhumi Airport was added in September to expand TAA’s customer base and support a market leader position for cargo services across the region.
Chief Executive Officer of Asia Aviation Plc. and TAA Santisuk Klongchaiya explained, “3Q2020 delivered positive signals for the tourism industry, especially for domestic routes, with state and private agencies unveiling policies and campaigns aimed at stimulating travel, prompting TAA to increase flight frequencies and add new routes. The airline is now back to 96 percent of its pre-COVID-19 domestic service capacity in September 2020.
“We moved forward in Quarter 3 by adding Suvarnabhumi Airport as a flight base along with Don Mueang Airport, making TAA the only carrier flying out of both of Bangkok’s major airports. The move has created new opportunities to expand and has positioned the airline to have a stronger foundation once international flights return in the future, allowing it to handle more passengers and cargo out of Suvarnabhumi Airport” Santisuk said.
Santisuk said for Quarter 4 of 2020 (4Q2020), the company is aiming for TAA to operate more than pre-Covid domestic capacity and to increase its domestic flights and routes in line with the government’s economic stimulus package by boosting domestic travel demand. Several long holidays in 4Q2020 are also expected to further support the travel and tourism industries. The government has already extended the “We Travel Together” campaign up to the end of January 2021 while the Special Tourist Visa (STV) programme for long-stay visitors delivers the first step towards encouraging inbound foreign visitors when international borders reopen. A reduction in excise tax for jet fuel from 4.726 baht per litre to 0.20 baht per litre until April 30 2021 as announced by the government bodes well to further reduce costs for airline operators.
Santisuk also pointed out AirAsia has adapted itself by becoming more than just an airline with the launch of the Asean super app airasia.com to leverage new opportunities across the lifestyle spectrum with services encompassing travel, e-commerce and fintech, a move that will build long-term sustainability.