AirAsia unit in PH projects 20% rise in revenue
Budget carrier Philippines Air Asia is targeting revenue to grow by about 20 percent in 2018, as it expands its fleet, routes and ancillary sales.
Philippines Air Asia CEO Dexter Comendador told reporters on Tuesday that revenue next year could hit an average of P1.3 billion per month, or about P15.6 billion for the full year. Revenue for 2017 was targeted to hit P12 billion to P13 billion.
“If this year was a good year for us, it’s going to be very good next year,” Comendador said, adding that he was hoping to end 2017 with a modest profit.
For 2018, Air Asia plans to increase its fleet to 22 Airbus A320s, higher by 30 percent. Load factor, which measures the utilization of seats per flight, was targeted at about 87 percent.
Philippine Air Asia has a domestic market share of about 10 percent. It competes here with larger rivals Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air. AirAsia has a bigger footprint abroad, through its main hub in Kuala Lumpur and regional units in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Japan.
Comendador said the airline is also on track to its public listing plan by the middle of 2018. The airline is raising at least $200 million, mainly for expansion purposes.
Philippines Air Asia started in 2012 and has grown organically and via acquisitions.
It completed in 2015 an investment in and merger with Zest Airways. This gave it access to valuable slots in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Philippines’ busiest air gateway, although the airline also sees bright prospects for Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Comendador earlier said the domestic fleet would grow to 70 planes in 15 years, or by 2032. It had 15 Airbus A320s at the end of 2016.
Airlines in Asia Pacific and the rest of the world are expected to remain profitable through 2018, as demand remains robust.
The International Air Transport Association projected that profits of Asia Pacific carriers would hit $9 billion next year, up 8.4 percent from the expected $8.3 billion in 2017.
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