AAV announces 1Q2023 performance, sees clear signs of recovery in China 4.58 million passenger carried, 13% higher than preceding quarter Positive EBITDA and Net Profit for Second consecutive Quarter
BANGKOK, 13 May, 2023 - Asia Aviation Plc. (AAV), the sole shareholder of Thai AirAsia Co. Ltd. (TAA), announces its operational results for the first quarter of 2023 (“1Q2023”) with total revenue of Baht 9,814.8 million, up 369 percent year-on-year, and a net profit of Baht 359.4 million, on the back of Baht 1,765.4 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (“EBITDA”).
The positive figures for a second consecutive quarter reflects strongly on the recovery in the domestic market, where TAA achieved a record-setting market share of 37 percent. Similarly, demand in the international market is also rebounding, especially in China where growth has significantly improved since March 2023 and is expected to continue until the end of the year. Based on these positive developments, the company is confident of recording its first post-pandemic net profit this year.
Throughout 1Q2023, TAA served 4.58 million passengers, up 13 percent from the previous quarter and 216 percent year-on-year. The quarterly load factor hit a new high of 92 percent while on-time performance remained strong at 87 percent. The airline completed the quarter with a fleet of 54 aircraft (1 aircraft pending redelivery) with 45 active in service. The utilisation rate averaged 11.8 hours per day per aircraft.
Mr. Santisuk Klongchaiya, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Aviation Plc. and Thai AirAsia Co. Ltd. said: “The growth continued in 1Q2023 from the preceding quarter indicating that the tourism and aviation industries are trending positively. Notably, the carrier transported 1.42 million international passengers in the quarter, up 26 percent quarter-on-quarter, whereas international travel was barred during the same period last year. The airline saw clear growth in this segment and was well prepared to capitalise on the Chinese market during the past quarter following the lifting of China’s COVID-19 travel restriction policy earlier in the year. Also, domestic air travel benefited from the government’s fifth phase of the “We Travel Together” Program, which drove 3.16 million domestic passengers to fly with TAA in 1Q2023.
“Looking forward, TAA has plans to proactively add more domestic and international routes from our Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai and Phuket flight bases, which have recovered swiftly, especially to the Chinese market where demand for travel is high. From the start of the year to the end of April, over 845,000 Chinese travellers visited Thailand, second only to the 1.29 million travellers who came from Malaysia. As of the end of the first quarter, Thai AirAsia is operating 67 flights to China each week and is looking to increase frequency to 114 per week in the second quarter before returning to its pre-pandemic peak of 140 flights per week later this year. We have also continued to receive strong support for more services across ASEAN as well as to India, Fukuoka and Taipei.
“Domestically, Thai AirAsia has returned to flying 89 percent of its pre-pandemic total number of passengers carried with a 37 percent market share this quarter. With strong brand loyalty from our guests and the most aircraft in the market to cater for forecast increased demand we look forward to continuing to be the largest and most popular low cost carrier in Thailand. “However, the airline is also looking beyond growth and market share, with a core focus on providing the best value in the market, encompassing the highest standards of safety, reliability, affordability and customer experience. Overall, the sector saw impressive recovery in the first quarter with a positive future outlook,” Mr. Santisuk said.
For 2023, TAA is maintaining a target of 20 million passengers served, up from the 9.95 million served last year. Load factor has been forecast at 87 percent and the airline is confident of maintaining its on-time performance industry leadership while having the largest operating fleet of 53 aircraft. If the travel sector recovers faster than predicted, TAA plans to bring in more aircraft to capitalise on the opportunity for growth and is working closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to attract foreign tourists to the nation and support secondary cities where there is demand. All of these factors are expected to result in TAA’s improved operational results throughout the year in line with its long-term sustainable growth plan.