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Revenue surged 17 per cent to RM1.04 billion from RM883.16 million chalked up previously. — Reuters picRevenue surged 17 per cent to RM1.04 billion from RM883.16 million chalked up previously. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Long-haul budget airline, AirAsia X Bhd, returned to the black with a pre-tax profit of RM27.95 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2017 (Q2 2017), from a pre-tax loss of RM9.23 million registered in the same period last year.

Revenue surged 17 per cent to RM1.04 billion from RM883.16 million chalked up previously, thanks to the 34 per cent increase in the number of passengers carried on the back of 26 per cent hike in seat capacity, the airline said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today.

During the quarter under review, AirAsia X recorded a lower average base fare of RM455 in order to stimulate demand, reflected in the significant increase in the number of passengers carried.

Load factor was up five percentage points to 80 per cent despite 26 per cent capacity injection to 8.5 billlon against 6.68 billion available seat kilometers (ASK) recorded in the same period last year.

Revenue per ASK slipped seven per cent, year-on-year, to 12.28 sen in 2Q17 due to increased capacity on existing routes, resulting in lower yields.

In a separate statement, Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said despite challenging market conditions, AirAsia X managed to deliver “a historically lean quarter which again attests to the commercial viability of the long-haul low-cost model”.

He said the airline's Thai operations improved in Q2 2017 compared with Q2 2016 with load factor soaring 92 per cent on the back of higher international tourists to the country during the quarter.

As for its Indonesian business, the airline managed to narrowed its net loss to US$3.8 million in Q2 2017 from US$9.8 million recorded in same quarter last year.

Moving forward, Kamarudin said the group planned to re-strategise its position in Australia while focus on the opportunities available from North Asia and streamline operations across the board to further unlock greater synergies with AirAsia Group.

“We expect this cost reduction initiatives to help us achieve up to 10 per cent cost savings.

“The group looks to improve on its strategy of purposeful investment in securing high-yield, high-traffic routes and build market dominance in core markets across the region which will then drive competitive advantage with sustainable returns,” he added. — Bernama

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