SET-listed Asia Aviation Plc (AAV), the majority shareholder of Thai AirAsia Co (TAA), reported first-half revenue of 21.63 billion baht, up 4% year-on-year.
The company posted a net profit of 14.7 million baht, down from 698 million in the first half of 2018.
TAA, the country’s biggest low-cost carrier, recorded total revenue of 21.63 billion baht and net profit of 24 million as a result of weakened visitor growth to Thailand, appreciation of the baht and lower demand from foreign tourists.
The company, with a fleet of 62 aircraft, served 11.4 million passengers during the first half of 2019, with a load factor of 86%.
For the second quarter, AAV reported revenue of 10.01 billion baht and a net loss of 482 million. TAA reported revenue of 10.01 billion baht and a net loss of 879 million.
During the second quarter, TAA carried 5.58 million passengers, up 5% year-on-year, and maintained a load factor of 83%, down two points from a year earlier on lower than forecast foreign tourists to Thailand.
The baht has soared by leaps and bounds against the US dollar this year, well ahead of other regional currencies.
“Operational results for the first half of 2019 were pressured by the slowdown of the tourism industry,” said Santisuk Klongchaiya, chief executive of AAV and TAA.
“There was lower growth in foreign visitors to Thailand, especially from the Chinese market, which is only now showing signs of gradual recovery after efforts to rebuild trust in the market.”
Mr Santisuk said TAA has continued its strategy to expand routes to destinations in the key markets of Indochina and India, while also increasing flight frequencies on popular routes to establish both balance and stability.
The efforts have allowed TAA to see a 5% growth in passenger numbers year-on-year, surpassing the average growth percentage of foreign visitors to Thailand during the same period.
He said positive passenger feedback and weaker competition in provincial hubs give the airline confidence it will achieve 2019 growth targets.
Thai AirAsia will continue with its blueprint in the latter half of 2019, especially in terms of increasing flight frequencies on popular routes and expanding its network to reduce risks from overdependence on single-source flyers.
This year, the airline targets carrying 23.2 million passengers with an average load factor of 86%.
Thai AirAsia wants to add one energy-efficient aircraft to bring its total fleet to 63 by year-end.
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