Virus causes 25 per cent less passengers for AirAsia X in first quarter 2020

AirAsia is studying a dual listing in Hong Kong, part of plans to become a pan-Asian low-cost airline player as it also moves towards setting up a joint venture in China, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. PHOTO: EPA. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PETALING JAYA, Apr 28, 2020, FMT. AirAsia X, the long-haul budget airline owned by AirAsia, has announced a 25% drop in passengers in the first quarter of 2020, as the low-cost carrier struggles with the disruption in global aviation caused by Covid-19, Free Malaysia Today reported.

In the first three months of this year, it carried 1.14 million passengers against the 1.51 million passengers it carried during the same period last year.

The company said passenger load factor dropped by 9% while the Available Seats per Kilometre (ASK) capacity reduced by 21% from the corresponding period in 2019.

“The significant drop in available capacity and passengers carried is a result of the severe impact of Covid-19 which has affected travel demand globally and as part of the airline’s mitigation strategy, the company has reduced flight frequency around the network and temporarily suspended certain routes.”

Since February, AirAsia X has reduced flights to China, and in March, its capacity was reduced to 90% of its network including Australia, Japan, South Korea and India.

The airline also stopped flying to Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as other Chinese cities Tianjin and Lanzhou, and Jaipur in India.

The company had announced a “temporary hibernation” of its fleet for a period of two months effective March 28.

It said at the end of March, AirAsia X had 24 Airbus A330 planes.

Meanwhile, its Thailand unit saw a 22% reduction in ASK capacity and has suspended all operations for three months effective March 16.

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