AirAsia forecasts better second half as travel resumes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2020 09:50 PM

MANILA - AirAsia on Thursday said it sees a better second half as air travel gradually resumes following the disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Malaysian-based budget carrier said “the first half of 2020 has been extremely challenging” but it is seeing “positive trends in its flight bookings and load factors” that signal “a better second half of the year.” 

The airline’s share prices were recently battered after it reported a record quarterly loss of 803 million ringgit ($187 million) for the first three months of the year, after being forced to ground its fleet due to the virus. 

However, in a statement released Thursday, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said he was encouraged by recent sales. 

“As domestic travel is now allowed in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India and the Philippines, we have been resuming our flights on a staggered yet steady basis since late May," Fernandes said. 

He said that on July 7, the airline had its highest post-hibernation sale with 75,000 seats sold in a single day, reflecting pent-up demand and signaling green shoots of recovery. 

The company also expects its planes' load factor to increase to 70 percent in July from 60 percent in June. 

Its logistics venture Teleport grew 49 percent in the first quarter of 2020 due to high demand for transporting medical aid and critical supplies. 

Meanwhile, Fernades also said the company is looking “to ensure sufficient cash flow.” 

“We have been presented with proposals in various forms of capital raising, be it debt or equity, and are in ongoing discussions with numerous parties, including investment banks, lenders, as well as interested investors in seeking a favorable outcome for the group.” 

The airline is also aiming to reduce its cash expenses by half this year through various cost-cutting measures.