AirAsia PH revenues down 77% in 2020
AirAsia Philippines saw revenues fall 77 percent last year as travel restrictions kept flyers at home. Its latest presentation to investors showed the budget carrier, part of Malaysia’s AirAsia Group, recorded P6.3 billion in revenues for 2020. This compares to sales of P27.35 billion in 2019.
The drop reflected the devastation brought by the global health crisis on air travel demand. AirAsia Philippines carried 77 percent fewer passengers last year, or just two million from 8.55 million the previous year.
Like other airlines around the world, the AirAsia Group cut costs and scaled back operations to survive the pandemic.
AirAsia Philippines, which earlier projected aggressive expansion targets, would reduce its fleet by one aircraft to 23 planes by the end of 2021. Its bigger affiliates in the region are implementing even larger fleet cuts. Overall, the AirAsia Group will return 14 planes this year to end with 231 aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is seeing a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections, prompting the government to impose even tighter travel rules. Local carriers have since canceled dozens of flights as leisure travel in and out of the country’s main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, was barred until April 4.
Before this, AirAsia Philippines saw early signs of recovery because of the upcoming summer season.
Alongside other carriers, the AirAsia Group is banking on the rollout of more vaccines to restore confidence in the sector.
“In regards to international routes, we are optimistic that operations will resume in the second half of 2021, highly influenced by the efficiency of vaccination rollouts globally,” AirAsia Group president Bo Lingam said.
He noted that most countries within Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) were poised to vaccinate about half of their populations in the latter half of 2021.
“Once borders are lifted, we expect to see a strong recovery in our overall performance given our low-cost model and dominant positioning in Asean,” he said.
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