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Air Asia unit in PH posts P392-M loss

By Miguel R. Camus | Philippine Daily Inquirer

Budget airline Philippines Air Asia saw its revenues jump by some 46 percent in the first quarter of the year even as its bottom line swung to a loss due to foreign exchange volatility.

Philippines Air Asia, a unit of Malaysia’s Air Asia Berhad, said revenues during the period hit P5.27 billion, up from P3.62 billion in the first quarter last year.

The airline, which competes with larger domestic carriers such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air, carried about 1.6 million passengers from January to March 2018, up by almost 40 percent over the same period in 2017.

Philippines Air Asia managed to keep costs under check despite the higher price of oil.

Its operating profit in the first quarter was up 7 percent to P426.6 million. This came even as aircraft fuel expenses jumped 74 percent to P1.9 billion.

Net income still ended in the red as it posted a loss of almost P392 million compared to a P29.4 million in profit last year. It noted that foreign exchange losses ballooned by 143 percent to P765.45 million.
As of the first quarter of 2018, Philippines Air Asia remained on expansion mode.

It saw its fleet of Airbus A320s expand from 15 aircraft to 21 planes. As a result, capacity increased 47 percent to 1.85 million available seats flown.

Its load factor, which measures utility against available seat capacity, dipped 5 percentage points to 87 percent.

Philippines Air Asia also started four new routes out of Clark Airport.

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