Posted on: 09 November 2015 by Ross McSweeny
AirAsia has released traffic data for the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15) across the group, recording an overall load factor of 81% – an increase of 3 percentage points year over year – and a 20% growth in passenger numbers to 12.88 million ahead of a 15% increase in capacity in comparison to 3Q14.
Malaysia AirAsia’s (MAA) passenger numbers increased by 19% to 6.3 million ahead of an 11% growth in capacity across the same respective periods. This resulted in a 5 percentage point improvement in load factor to 82%.
The double digit increase in the number of passengers carried was attributed to the recovery of demand from China and the heightened demand for travel during the month-long Eid celebration. During 3Q15, MAA started operating seven new routes between Kuala Lumpur and Chongqing, Dhaka, Goa, Kaohsiung, Manila, Pattaya and Johor Bahru. AirAsia is the sole operator of five of these services. The carrier also added frequencies on flights between Kuala Lumpur and Banda Aceh, Johor Bahru, Phuket and Chongqing.
Thai AirAsia’s (TAA) 3Q15 load factor was down by one percentage point to 81% compared to the same period the previous year, as passengers carried saw an increase of 26% to 3.58 million but capacity increased by 27%. The latter was a result of the improvement in the political situation in Thailand, which led to a more favourable performance in the tourism sector. TAA operated three new routes during the quarter and launched a new fifth hub at U-tapao International Airport in Pattaya.
Indonesia AirAsia (IAA) recorded a load factor of 75% in 3Q15. The number of passengers carried stood at 1.68 million on the back of 4% decrease in capacity as IAA continued with its rationalisation plan, which includes reduction of capacity and redeployment of aircraft to other short-haul associates. In 3Q15, one aircraft was deregistered from IAA and transferred to MAA. At the end of the reported quarter, IAA has a total of 23 aircraft, which includes 3 aircraft on wet lease to Indonesia AirAsia X (IAAX). During 3Q15, IAA launched one new route between Surabaya and Bangkok. Meanwhile, frequencies were added on three routes.
Philippines’ AirAsia (PAA) reported significant improvements in load factor, which reached 84% during 3Q15, up 19 percentage points year-over-year. The number of passengers carried was at 0.9 million, an increase of 46% in comparison to a 14% increase in capacity. During 3Q15 PAA increased frequency on its Manila–Puerto Princessa and Manila–Cebu routes.
Finally, AirAsia India (AAI) achieved a load factor of 76% in 3Q15, up 1 percentage point from 3Q14, carrying a total of 0.42 million passengers, an increase of 225%. Capacity grew by 221% across the same periods in line with the total passengers carried. AAI’s total fleet at the end of the quarter stood at 5 aircraft, up from 2 in 3Q14. Frequency was added on one existing route between Bengaluru and Visakhapatnam.