25 per cent increase in AirAsia passengers last year

KUALA LUMPUR - AirAsia Bhd flew a total of 42.61 million passengers for the whole of 2013, up 25 per cent from 34.13 million passenger in 2012.

According to AirAsia preliminary operating statistics released yesterday, the low-cost carrier carried 11.8 million passengers, a whopping 28 per cent increase, in fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2013, compared with 9.21 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

It said the group recorded a load factor of 81 per cent in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, AirAsia said the growth in capacity stood at 26 per cent allowing the group to close the year with load factor of 79 per cent. It said including the 11 aircraft from the acquisition of Zest Air (rebranded to AirAsia Zest), the group took in an additional 39 aircraft in total, bringing the total fleet size to 154 at the end of 2013.

In 2013, AirAsia said it carried 21.85 million passengers from Malaysia (2012: 19.67 million), 10.5 million from Thailand (2012: 8.3 million), 7.85 million from Indonesia (2012: 5.84 million) and 2.22 million from the Philippines (2012: 311,016).

Malaysia AirAsia (MAA) posted record high load factor of 85 per cent in the fourth quarter to Dec 31, 2013, up 3 percentage points as compared with the same period last year despite competitive pressures.

"Being seasonally its strongest quarter due to the holiday season, demand exceeded capacity with 14 per cent increase in the number of passengers carried at 5.9 million and 10 per cent increase in capacity, as a result of the company's continuous load active yield passive strategy," it said.

MAA added three new aircraft and closed the year with a total of 72 aircraft. For the financial year ended Dec 31 (FY13), MAA maintained a strong load factor of 80 per cent, and carried a total of 21.9 million passengers.

Meanwhile, Thai AirAsia (TAA) recorded a solid load factor of 81 per cent in the fourth quarter despite the political protest in Bangkok.

This was on the back of a high increase of 30 per cent year-on-year in the number of passengers carried at around three million, and 32 per cent increase in capacity.

TAA took in an additional four aircraft in the fourth quarter, and ended the year with a total fleet of 35 aircraft. For FY13, TAA's load factor stood at 83 per cent, and carried over 10.5 million passengers.

Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) maintained its year-on-year load factor at 76 per cent in the fourth quarter. Total number of passengers carried increased at a high rate of 33 per cent year-on-year to 2.2 million which is in line with the 32 per cent year-on-year increase in capacity. For FY13, IAA posted a load factor of 76 per cent, with a total of 7.9 million passengers carried.