AirAsia X passenger traffic down 2.8% in first nine months

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Malaysian long-haul, low-cost carrier AirAsia X's passenger traffic, as measured in RPKs, fell by 2.8% for the first nine months of 2012.

The carrier's capacity for the period, as measured in ASKs, declined by 5.3%, leading to a 4.5 percentage point growth in load factor to 84%.

The carrier carried a total of 1.91 million passengers, an increase of 1.7% compared with the same period in 2011.

For the third quarter of the year, AirAsia X's load factor was 83%, an increase of 3.3 percentage points year on year.

AirAsia X carried 640,000 passengers in the quarter, up by 40.7% over the same period last year.

"AirAsia X will continue to focus on increasing capacity in our identified core markets including Australia, China, Taiwan Korea, and Japan," says Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive of AirAsia X.

"Moving forward, we are set to grow our fleet with an additional 24 A330-300 aircraft between 2013 and 2017, which will see AirAsia X expand further in the long-haul segment across Asia-Pacific."

"Our move to KLIA 2 next year will also provide us the right infrastructure and enhanced ground facilities needed to support our growing network and feeder traffic for better connectivity within the AirAsia Group," adds Osman-Rani.

On the cargo front, AirAsia X carried 7,300t of freight in the third quarter and 19,700t in the first nine months of 2012, up by 13% year on year.