Bangkok Airways boosted operating profit 18% to Bt1.68 billion ($53.2 million) last year, despite a decline in revenue from the passenger segment.

Revenue rose 2.4% to Bt28.6 billion. However, passenger revenue fell 6.9% to nearly Bt18.9 billion, which the carrier attributed to a strengthening of the Thai baht against major currencies, a 1.6% decline in overall passenger numbers to 5.86 million, and strong competition.

Net profit climbed 41% to nearly Bt351 million.

Passenger load factor declined marginally to 68.1%, as increases in the domestic figure could not compensate a fall in the international one. Passenger yield fell 4.2%.

Traffic was down 3.1%, as capacity was cut 2.4%. Unit costs including fuel edged up 2.6% and was up 4% ex-fuel.

At 31 December 2019, the company had Bt5.27 billion in cash and cash equivalents, up from the Bt4.35 billion at the same point in 2018.

The carrier began a Bangkok-Cam Ranh services last year, as well as flights linking Chiang Mai with Krabi and Luang Prabang. But it suspended services to Phuket and Hanoi from Chiang Mai.

On a net basis, Bangkok Airways’ fleet remained unchanged at 40 aircraft. While it added an Airbus A319 and two ATR 72-600s, it phased out three ATR 72-500s.