- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Cargo Analysis
- Route Maps
- Annual Reports
- Fast Fact Report
AirAsia is a low cost carrier based at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia. The carrier, which was formed out of Tune Air in 2002, is led by CEO Tony Fernandes and pioneered the cross-border joint venture in Asia, establishing Thai and Indonesian units with bases in Bangkok and Jakarta. The airline has also partnered with other airlines and investors to create ventures in the Philippines, India and Japan. AirAsia's extensive domestic and regional network includes services within Malaysia and to China, Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent.
Location of AirAsia main hub (Kuala Lumpur International Airport)
AirAsia share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider AirAsia fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
2,540 total articles
258 total articles
Thailand’s two largest short-haul low-cost carriers, Nok Air and Thai AirAsia (TAA), reported improvements in their profitability in 1Q2015 as market conditions improved. LCC passenger traffic in the Bangkok market surged 41% in 1Q2015 as Nok, Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion all pursued rapid expansion, particularly domestically. LCCs now account for 36% of passenger traffic in Bangkok (both airports) compared to 28% two years ago.
Total domestic traffic in the Bangkok market was up 25% in 1Q2015, driven by a 45% increase by the LCCs. But domestic yields remain under pressure and overcapacity concerns are unlikely to ease given the continued rapid capacity expansion by all three of Thailand’s LCCs along with the planned launch of Thai VietJet.
Thailand’s short-haul international market is seeing a healthier demand-supply balance as demand has quickly recovered after a challenging 2014. A surge in visitor numbers from other Asian countries has particularly benefitted AirAsia, which is the largest player in Thailand's international LCC market by a wide margin. TAA profits increased nearly four-fold as TAA has a balanced domestic/international network while Nok's profits grew more modestly on a very low base as it relies almost entirely on the more challenging domestic market.
Singapore-based LCC Tigerair has cut capacity on 13 routes and suspended seven routes entirely as part of a network restructuring. The cuts have driven a reduction in Singapore's LCC penetration rate and led to a better supply-demand balance in a market which had been – and to some extent still is – suffering from overcapacity.
But the reductions at Tigerair also have created opportunities for competitors. While one of the other two main LCC players in the Singapore LCC sector, AirAsia, also has responded to the challenging market conditions by cutting capacity, Jetstar has quietly expanded.
Jetstar has added capacity over the last year on nine of the 13 routes it competes against Tigerair. Most of these routes have seen Tigerair reductions.
AirAsia is optimistic its Philippine operation has turned the corner after a challenging initial three years. Philippines AirAsia has been highly unprofitable since its 2012 launch while Zest also has remained loss-making since AirAsia acquired a stake in the carrier in 2013.
AirAsia has restructured its Philippine operation over the last year, making several network adjustments while cutting overall capacity and reducing the size of its Philippine-based fleet. Costs have been reduced and unit revenues have improved through a combination of load factor and yield improvements.
But AirAsia still faces challenges in the Philippines market which will have to be overcome for its Philippine operation to become profitable on a sustainable basis and for IPO ambitions to become realistic. AirAsia is planning further expansion at Kalibo, a gateway for the popular tourist island of Boracay where demand has been growing rapidly. The performance of its Kalibo operation could be impacted by the upcoming completion of a runway extension and airport upgrade project at Caticlan, a smaller airport which is much closer to Boracay.
Southeast Asia airline sector endures a rough and unprofitable 2014 but outlook for 2015 is brighter
Challenging market conditions and overcapacity have taken a huge toll on Southeast Asia’s airline sector. An overwhelming majority of the region’s airlines were unprofitable in 2014 across both the low-cost and full-service models.
Only seven of Southeast Asia’s 18 publicly traded airlines or subsidiaries/affiliates that report financial results were profitable on an operating basis in 2014. Combined, this sampling of 18 airlines incurred operating or EBIT losses of nearly USD1 billion in 2014 compared to a slight profit of about USD150 million in 2013.
The big year-over-year swing is a reflection of the challenging market conditions throughout the region as it metamorphoses. Of the 18 airlines in this sampling, only six achieved improved operating figures in 2013, including four from the Philippines.
Competition in Thailand’s domestic LCC sector intensifies further as Thai Lion, Nok & AirAsia expand
Thailand’s domestic market has become a major battleground for three of Southeast Asia’s leading low-cost carriers. Thailand’s domestic LCC sector recorded passenger growth of over 30% in 2014 and could see similar growth in 2015.
But the growth has come at the expense of yields and profitability as all players have had to lower fares to compete. The outlook for 2015 remains relatively bleak as the price wars have continued.
Thai Lion has been the main provocateur, pursuing rapid expansion since launching services at the end of 2013. But Nok and Thai AirAsia have also been expanding rapidly, leading to overcapacity.
Thailand’s new crop of long-haul low-cost carriers have been set back by new restrictions imposed by Japan and South Korea following an ICAO determination that Thailand’s aviation authority is not in compliance with international safety standards. NokScoot and Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) will likely still be able to pursue expansion in China, which has raised new restrictions on Thai charter carriers, but Japan and Korea are critical markets for both start-ups.
NokScoot has been particularly impacted as it had not yet launched scheduled services – due to a series of earlier unrelated regulatory delays – when ICAO informed Korea and Japan at the end Mar-2015 of its findings against the Thai DCA. As a result NokScoot had to shelve plans for launching scheduled services to Japan and Korea as well as cancel or hand to sister carrier Scoot charters to Japan.
TAAX is in slightly better position as it was already serving two destinations in Japan and one in South Korea when both countries began imposing the new restrictions. But TAAX will have to drop a new route to a third Japanese destination and delay plans for adding capacity in both markets.