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Thai AirAsia reports whopping 11-billion-baht loss, but expects recovery in 2022


Budget airline Thai AirAsia suffered operating losses of over 11 billion baht last year as its revenue plummeted due to travel restrictions amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and rising petrol prices.

Its parent company, Asia Aviation Plc, reported the big loss to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Operating losses for the 12 months ended December 31 widened to 11.7 billion baht, compared with 7.6 billion in 2020, as revenues for the year dropped 76 per cent to Bt4.5 billion, Asia Aviation said.

In the fourth quarter, operating losses nearly doubled to 2.1 billion baht, up from 1.3 billion a year earlier, while revenues more than halved to 1.6 billion.

The carrier’s parent company attributed the dismal performance to the many Covid-19 outbreaks in 2021, noting that the suspension of Thailand’s Test & Go scheme for vaccinated travellers amid the Omicron outbreak was particularly disruptive.

Thai AirAsia carried 2.93 million passengers in 2021, down 69 per cent from a year earlier, as the capacity measured by seats fell by 66 per cent.

Its aircraft utilisation was low in 2021, at just 5.6 hours per day for active aircraft, compared with 7.4 hours in 2020.

Thai AirAsia chief executive Santisuk Klongchaiya said that 2021 was a “difficult year” for the airline due to adverse impacts from the pandemic and restrictive travel measures set by the Thai government.

The crisis prompted the company to downsize and go for financial restructuring, he said.

The CEO sees 2022 as a year of recovery for the airline, with plans to increase flight frequency and routes. Its domestic flights are expected to resume fully, with more international flights added.

Thai AirAsia aims to carry as many as 12.3 million passengers this year, at 78 per cent of its capacity, with no plans for more aircraft deliveries, the CEO said.

Published : February 24, 2022