AirAsia X reduces Q2 loss in 2013

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AirAsia X posted a net loss of ringgit (M$)32.3 million ($9.82 million) for the second quarter of the 2013 fiscal year, a marked improvement on the M$77.6 million loss recorded for the same period in the prior year.

The long-haul, low-cost carrier reported revenue of M$491 million for the quarter to June 30, up 21% year on year. However, operating expenses grew by 13% to M$508 million, resulting in an operating loss of M$11.6 million. That was a significant reduction on the M$38 million operating loss recorded for the same period last year.

Passenger numbers over the quarter increased by 20% year on year to 697,000 from almost 582,000 a year ago. The airline says that average passenger fare increased by 2.5% to M$508.84 from M$496.48 due to the increased maturity of its route network.

Despite the operating loss, a stronger Q1 result means that the carrier made an operating profit of M$46 million for the half-year to 30 June, compared to an operating loss of M$4.6 million in the first half of 2012.

"After the realignment of our network during the first half of 2012, our strategy is now more focused in our core markets, where we will increase frequencies and add new destinations to build a market leadership position," says chief executive Azran Osman-Rani. "Our return to profitability shows that we were right to re-tool our portfolio to focus on the Asia-Pacific region, where there are many under-served markets."

The airline adds that its revenue per ASK grew by close to 13% to M$0.13 in the first half of 2013 from M$0.11 for the same period last year.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database shows that AirAsia X operates a fleet of 14 Airbus A330-300s and two A340-300s with the latter aircraft wet-leased to Saudia