AirAsia posts impressive Q1 results, net income jumps sixfold

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia-based AirAsia on Thursday announced a first-quarter net profit of 878 million ringgit (S$297.15 million) due to lower fuel costs and growth in passenger volume.

AirAsia, the region's biggest budget carrier by fleet size, said in a statement that it enjoyed a cut in operational costs following a 29 per cent reduction in the average fuel price.

Prices fell from an average of US$79 (S$108.56) per barrel in the first quarter of 2015 to US$56 per barrel in the first quarter of this year.

The budget carrier founded by billionaire Tony Fernandes reported a 17 per cent growth in passenger volume while the average fare rose 11 per cent to 166 ringgit.

AirAsia first quarter net profit in 2015 was 149 million ringgit while in the fourth quarter it reported a net profit of 554 million ringgit.

AirAsia carried 13.9 million passengers in the first quarter ended March, it said earlier.

The airline's quarterly revenue soared 31 per cent to 1.70 billion ringgit from 1.30 billion ringgit on the back of flying more passengers and higher ticket fares.

AirAsia said the seat load factor was at 85 per cent which was 10 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

Shares in AirAsia, however,dipped 2.59 per cent to close 2.26 ringgit on Thursday.

AirAsia X, its long-haul unit on Tuesday reported a net profit of 179.5 million ringgit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016, swinging from a loss of 125.9 million ringgit a year ago.

Revenue, meanwhile, rose 25 per cent to 970.7 million ringgit.