AirAsia X records loss of M$29m in first-half 2012

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AirAsia X has posted a loss after tax for the six months ended 30 June 2012 of Malaysian dollars (M$) 29.1 million ($9.53 million), an improvement from a loss of M$47.8 million for the same period a year ago, according to financial data listed in its draft prospectus.

The carrier's total revenue for the first half of the year increased by 10% to M$942 million from M$856 million in the same period last year. This was driven by an increase in charter flights because of the reallocation of its Airbus A340-300s to charter services, which helped to offset lower passenger revenue. It was also a result of a M$29 million increase in ancillary revenue.

During the first half of 2012, the airline suspended services to Christchurch, London and Paris, added services to Sydney and increased frequencies on its Perth and Taipei services.

More recently, AirAsia X added thrice weekly flights to Kathmandu on 3 July and cut services to Tehran on 14 October.

The statements also show that the airline recorded full-year profits after tax of M$93.6 million and M$147 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively, but swung to a loss of M$96.7 million in 2011.

That was despite strong growth in revenue over the three years from M$711 million in 2009 to M$1.86 billion in 2011.

The airline says that its cost per ASK (CASK) including fuel is 3.58 cents, or 1.69 cents excluding fuel.

"This implies a 68.9% and 77.5% lower CASK and CASK [excluding fuel], respectively, as compared to the average CASK and CASK [excluding fuel] of the 10 largest Asia-based [full service carriers] that reported these figures," says the airline.

According to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database, the airline currently has a fleet of nine Airbus A330-300s and two A340-300s. It plans to add 24 A330-300s to its fleet between 2013 and 2017, and has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order, which are due to be delivered from 2018.

"We believe the expansion of our fleet is expected to improve our financial performance over the coming years," says the airline.

AirAsia X is offering up to 790.1 million shares in an initial public offering.