AAV records best quarterly performance since COVID-19 as total annual passengers reached 9.95 million in 4Q2022 First positive EBITDA in 11 quarters totalling Baht 1,628.9 million
BANGKOK, 24 February 2023 - Asia Aviation Plc. (AAV), the sole shareholder of Thai AirAsia Co. Ltd. (TAA), announces its operational results for Quarter 4 of 2022 (“4Q2022”) with a total revenue of Baht 12,498.8 million, up 481 percent year-on-year (“YoY”) and 155 percent quarter-on-quarter (“QoQ”).
The airline transported 4.06 million passengers during the quarter, recording an average of Baht 387 in ancillary income per passenger, historic high, backed by the recovery in the sales of baggage allowance and in-flight meals, in line with the pent-up demand in domestic and international travel.
AAV reported an unrealised gain from foreign currency exchange of Baht 3,712.0 million, as the Thai Baht appreciated during the quarter, leading to a net profit of Baht 3,114.4 million. Excluding the foreign currency gain and the losses from derivatives, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (“EBITDA”) for the quarter was Baht 1,628.9 million, its first positive EBITDA in 11 quarters.
TAA’s domestic capacity returned to 90 percent of its pre-pandemic level, while international capacity reached 49 percent (or 69 percent if excluding China). Average load factor was a strong 90 percent, the highest since 1Q2019. During the period, TAA operated with 42 aircraft out of its total fleet of 54 planes.
Throughout 2022, AAV achieved a total revenue of Baht 18,290.8 million with a total Baht 26,766.4 million in expenses, partly from currency exchange and derivatives losses totaling Baht (1,460.0) million. This resulted in a net loss of Baht (8,214.4) million for the year, an improvement from previous year’s net loss of Baht (11,958.0) million.
The airline achieved its target of 9.95 million passengers carried in the year, a major hike from only 2.93 million passengers served in 2021. Load Factor for the year was 84 percent while on-time performance (OTP) was strong at 92 percent, earning TAA the most on-time airline in Thailand and among the world’s top as recognised by OAG (4th globally among all airlines) and Cirium (3rd globally among low-cost airlines).
TAA also continued its focus on sustainability in the year, utilising green operations in its pursuit towards reducing carbon emissions by over 7,000 tonnes that is equivalent to planting 514,000 mangrove trees. Taking part in the Vibhavadi Zero Waste project, the airline significantly reduced non-hazardous waste from its operations at Don Mueang Airport.
Mr. Santisuk Klongchaiya, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Aviation Plc. and Thai AirAsia Co. Ltd. said: “Our 4Q2022 operational results are a clear signal of AAV’s strong recovery, backed by an efficient and robust management that delivered its first positive EBITDA in 11 quarters and since COVID-19 began impacting the economy. The tourism industry as a whole improved drastically throughout 2022, especially during the latter half when market growth accelerated exponentially due to the reopening of borders by more countries and more capacity reinstated in the market. The carrier has always been working closely with the state and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, by seizing opportunities for international flights when Thai borders were fully reopened on 1 October 2022 and similar developments taking place throughout the region.
“The worst is now over on many fronts, be it the pandemic, soaring fuel costs due to international conflicts or currency fluctuations. We believe 2023 will be a lot better, especially with China gradually reopening from January, prompting us to resume our service by this March to seven China destinations of Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Kunming, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Changsha, accounting for almost 40 flights a week. We have plans to resume more routes and to increase flight frequencies throughout 2023. Our priority for this year is to return to or near to where we were before COVID-19, both in terms of passengers carried and cost efficiency. Our immediate objectives will be to return to profitability with improved cash flows soonest.”
Mr. Santisuk underlined that TAA is committed to being an environmentally-friendly airline and is currently in its fourth year working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to participate in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) with the aim of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050.
TAA is ready to ride on greater robust growth prospects in 2023, targeting 20 million passengers carried on the back of recovering domestic tourism, welcoming the return of Chinese travellers and improvements in the Asean and South Asian markets. The carrier also plans to expand its network to new destinations, such as Jakarta (Indonesia), Kathmandu (Nepal), Manila (Philippines) and Colombo (Sri Lanka) while maintaining the largest fleet in the market with 53 aircraft and enhancing the aircraft utilisation rate of at least 12.5 hours per day.
Equal emphasis will be on promoting sustainable tourism through partnerships with organisations that share the airline’s sustainable tourism aspirations. For the record, AirAsia Academy has begun offering an Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) in Action course and carrying ESG activities with various public and private agencies as well as educational institutions to drive long-term sustainability.