Thai AirAsia expects to resume all domestic flights by April, even as its parent company’s full-year losses widen amid the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

The carrier’s parent Asia Aviation reported an operating loss of Bt7.55 billion ($251 million) for the year ended 31 December. That compares with the Bt122 million full-year loss it reported in 2019.

HS-BBY Thai AirAsia

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A Thai AirAsia A320neo at Bangkok’s Don Mueng airport.

Revenue for the year plunged about 61% year on year to Bt16.2 billion, as the coronavirus pandemic torpedoed travel demand, particularly in its international network.

Thai AirAsia has halted all international flights since 22 March 2020, as borders remained shut to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Full-year expenses fell 43% to Bt23.8 billion, as a result of reduced flying activity, as well as staff and operational cost reduction.

Asia Aviation reported a net loss of Bt8.7 billion, widening 2019’s net loss of Bt872 million.

Thai AirAsia carried 9.5 million passengers for the full year, about 57% lower year on year. As a result of shut borders, the Bangkok-based unit of the AirAsia Group saw a 84% decrease in international traffic.

The carrier anticipates the resumption of all domestic flights by April, following the Thai government’s move to relax travel restrictions between provinces. It states that it is in close consultation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, as well as other state agencies, as it reintroduces capacity.

The move comes on the back of a group-wide focus on domestic travel demand. In August, the AirAsia Group indicated that it will shift recovery efforts to domestic travel, as international borders remain shut for the foreseeable near-term.

Thai AirAsia adds in its outlook that it will continue to drive down costs this year, while seeking alternative revenue streams, such as in the logistics and freight sector. The carrier adds that it will also take no new aircraft this year.