MAS posts Q3 net loss of 300m ringgit

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Malaysia Airlines (MAS) posted a net loss of 300 million ringgit ($89 million) in the fiscal third quarter due to fuel derivatives.

In the three months ending 30 September MAS had a net loss of 300 million ringgit compared to a net profit of 38 million ringgit in the corresponding period last year, says MAS.

"The loss is mainly due to 202 million ringgit in derivative mark-to-market on fuel," it says.

Revenue fell 28% to 2.96 billion ringgit from 4.12 billion ringgit, says MAS.

Despite the revenue slump, MAS says "the number of passengers carried for the three months was 3.3 million, the highest since early 2008".

MAS' managing director and CEO Azmil Zahruddin says: "We are seeing signs of recovery" but "fares wise, the current low levels are not sustainable in the long-term".

He says MAS has more passengers because it has been adding capacity on its domestic and short-haul international routes.

The lower fares helped boost the airline's passenger load factor - across domestic and international - "by double digits to 76.7% compared to 65.8% in 2009's second quarter".

Forward bookings for 2010 are better than a year ago, he adds.