Photo: AirAsia

MIAMI – Today AirAsia X Malaysia (D7) has reported its first quarter 2020 results. The report shows a decline in the airline’s revenue by 21% and a drop in passenger capacity by 25%.

During the quarter, the Asian airline saw a revenue of RM924.1m. This represents a drop of 21% compared to the same period in 2019.

Additionally, D7 reported a total income of RM1.17bn in Q1. According to the company, the negative results reflect the decrease in seat and passenger capacity.

AirAsia X Negative Revenue and Capacity

AirAsia X cut capacity by 15% and carried 1,141,713 travelers in Q1 2020. In comparison with Q1 2019, the airline reported a fall by 25% from the 1,512,546 passengers it carried in the same period last year.

The airline also said that it suffered major negative impact in passenger demand in February. In January, it was charting profits at an operating level. As result, D7 ended the quarter with a net loss of RM549.7m.

The airline saw a negative COVID-19 impact from February onwards.

AirAsia X Load Factor

The Malaysian airline’s Passenger Load Factor (PLF) went down from 83% to 74% compared to Q1 2019. However, its average fare increased by 4%: RM535. Last year, the avarage fare was RM513.

Regarding its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), the airline reported RM94.0m. In comparison with Q1 2019, when its EBITDA was in the order of RM264.5m.


In addition, D7 shared its Cost per Available Seat Kilometre (CASK). This was set at 14.94 sen, which represents an up of 16% in comparison with Q1 2019.

In CASK ex-fuel, the airline’s numbers increased to 10.18 sen compared to 8.16 sen, as recorded in the same period last year.

In addition, according to the report, D7 suffered ongoing fixed maintenance costs and RM391.7m in foreign exchange losses. During February and March, it also scaled back its network.

Due to these factors, the company’s Available Seat per Kilometre (ASK) dropped by 21% to 6,874m in Q1 2020.

In contrast with other indicators, the airline saw an increase in CASK compared to Q1 2019.

Overall Results for AirAsia X Thailand

As the pandemic entered the scene in the first quarter of the year, the carrier temporarily grounded its fleet and suspended its flight schedule.

According to AirAsia X Group CEO, Nadda Buranasiri, their associated Thailand business also recorded significant losses.

In Q1 2020, AirAsia X Thailand (XJ) reported a down in revenue of 29%. this totaled US$89.6m against US$126.9m in Q1 2019. Further, its net loss came to US$27.1m.

Buranasiri added that XJ had a drop of 29% in passenger capacity. The airline carried 474,150 passengers compared to 665,432 in the same period last year.

In other results, XJ’s PLF went down by 77% and ASK capacity followed the trend dropping by 22%

Earlier in 2020, AirAsia X Thailand became the first airline in the country to serve flights with the new Airbus A321neo.
Photo: AirAsia.

2020 Outlook

Beyond what is an unprecedented Q1 2020, D7 CEO, Benyamin Ismail said other areas have maintained the airline operational.

Mr. Ismail referred to the increased demand in the global supply chain for essential goods, authorities assistance, and repatriation flights.

Nonetheless, the Malaysian airline will maintain its hibernation mode for its fleet and route schedule in the coming months.

As D7’s resumption of operations is tied to international travel demand and country restrictions, the airline expects a rebound by the end of 2020.

In the meantime, the carrier is mitigating the COVID-19 impact in key actions with partners and creditors. Accordingly, it will maintain minimum connectivity only for essential cargo and charter flights.