Indonesia AirAsia's (IAA) parent company, AirAsia Indonesia, posted an operating loss of Rp782 billion ($55.6 million) for 2018 as the airline was hit by higher fuel and operating costs.

The result is a stark contrast to the Rp328 billion operating profit realised in 2017.

Revenue for the year to December 2018 rose 11% to Rp4.2 trillion, while expenses jumped 31% to Rp5.52 trillion, due to higher fuel, maintenance, airport charges, and aircraft leasing costs took a hit on the company.

Indonesia AirAsia's ASKs grew 10%, higher than RPKs growth of 8% resulting in a two point decline in seat load factor to 82%.

RASK declined 1% to Rp468, while all-in CASK swelled 15% to Rp624. Excluding fuel, the increase was only 5% to Rp413.

Net loss nearly doubled to Rp908 billion, as it booked in a Rp136 billion loss from foreign exchange.

During the October-December quarter, AirAsia Indonesia's operating loss stood at Rp238 billion, versus the Rp201 billion operating profit in the previous corresponding period.

Revenue grew 54% to Rp1.32 trillion, while expenses almost doubled to Rp1.78 trillion. Net loss came in at Rp272 billion, as compared to the Rp30.6 billion net profit last year.

AirAsia Indonesia states that the improved fourth quarter revenue was aided by the transfer of eight aircraft previously operated by long-haul unit Indonesia AirAsia X. It also blamed the weaker performance for 2018 on a sharp increase in average fuel price from $64 to $85, the weak Indonesian rupiah against the dollar, and costs associated with inducting the eight aircraft into its fleet.

"We have unified our operations under one terminal at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International airport in the fourth quarter of 2018, which will have a positive impact on our future operating expenses," says chief executive Dendy Kurniawan.

"We're optimistic that we will be able to improve the company's performance and gain greater market share in 2019, amid signs of market improvement."

The carrier is planning to add three more aircraft to its fleet and establish a new hub in Lombok as it ramps up a focus on eastern Indonesia.

Separately, AirAsia Group extended a $5 million loan to Indonesia AirAsia during the last quarter of 2018. The Malaysian company states that the loan was "provided was in the ordinary course of business and to facilitate the running of the operations and financial affairs of IAA."

Source: Cirium Dashboard