AirAsia traffic jumps 17% in Q1

AirAsia now operates a fleet of 157 Airbus A320 aircraft
AirAsia now operates a fleet of 157 Airbus A320 aircraft

AirAsia experienced a strong rise in passenger traffic in the first quarter of the year, as new aircraft deliveries helped boost seat capacity.

The group, comprising units in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, carried a total of 11.48 million passengers in Q1 2014, 17% more than the same period last year.

And this growth was driven by the arrival of 35 new aircraft in the previous 12 months, which allowed AirAsia to increase its seat capacity by 19%. The group’s load factor averaged 78% – one percentage point lower than in Q1 2013, and AirAsia’s total fleet comprised 157 aircraft at the end of Q1.

AirAsia’s fleet size, by region

Malaysia: 72 aircraft
Thailand: 37
Indonesia: 30
Philippines: 18

Despite Bangkok’s problems, Thai AirAsia experienced a strong rise in traffic in the first quarter of 2014. The airline carried 3.12m passengers in the three-month period, up 22% year-on-year. Average load factors did suffer however, dropping to 80% following the arriving of nine new aircraft, which added 31% more seat capacity.

Indonesian AirAsia also performed well, with traffic rising 22% to 2.10m passengers and average load factors rising to 76%. The Jakarta-based unit has taken delivery of eight new aircraft in the past 12 months.

Malaysian AirAsia carried 5.37m passengers in Q1 2014, up 4% year-on-year, with load factors rising to 81%. Finally Philippines AirAsia saw a sharp rising in traffic, albeit from a low base. The unit carried 894,700 passengers in Q1 2014, compared to 144,200 in the same period last year, as its fleet size climbed from two to 18 aircraft.

And the group’s growth will continue this year, with the launch of AirAsia India.

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