AirAsia X, the long haul low fare affiliate of AirAsia has recorded another strong growth in the third quarter of 2011, carrying 0.62 million passengers, an increase of 21.3% over the same quarter in 2010.
In terms of passenger traffic, AirAsia X grew by 27.2% to 3.6 billion Revenue-Passenger-Kms (RPKs) for Q3-2011, achieving similar levels in the earlier two quarters and solidifying its position as the second-largest low-cost carrier in Southeast Asia, after Malaysia’s AirAsia. Its capacity grew by 17% to 4.5 billion Available Seat-Kms (ASKs), resulting in a load factor of 80%. This represents an increase of 6 percentage-points from the same quarter in 2010, where it registered a load factor of 74%. AirAsia X has been able to buck the trend of softening load factors experienced by other long-haul legacy carriers amidst the current economic climate. All routes that AirAsia X has operated over a year have yielded positive increases in load factor.
For the 9 months Year-to-date, AirAsia X has carried 1.9 million passengers, up 42.6% from the previous year’s corresponding period, and a higher load factor of 80%, up 5 percentage-points from the previous year. This brings total passenger traffic to 10.6 billion RPKs and 13.3 billion ASKs, a growth of 46.8% and 37.2% year-on-year respectively.
Cargo operations continue to be strong, with AirAsia X carrying 9,220 tons of freight in Q3-2011, registering a 33.2% growth from a year ago. Cargo load factor stands at 69% while its Flown-as-Booked ratio has reached an industry-leading level of 93%.
“In addition to our continued unit cost industry-leadership, AirAsia X has focused on achieving superior on-time performance reliability for our flights, registering an on-time rate of 89% flights departing within 15 minutes of schedule, for both Q3-2011 and 2011 year-to-date. This proves that even though we are a low cost carrier, we do not compromise on reliability,” says Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X.
Currently, its aircraft fleet remains at 9 Airbus A330 and 2 Airbus A340 aircraft with an order of three new A330-200 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2012. This new aircraft purchase will replace the A340 used for flights into Europe and is expected to help increase fuel efficiency. AirAsia X is expecting further growth in the final quarter of 2011, as it will be launching its flights to Osaka, Japan from the 30th November, as well as additional flights to Australia and Taiwan during the peak December period.