AirAsia posts strong results; bullish entering 4Q

AirAsia, Southeast Asia’s largest LCC, gained 4.1% yesterday as the company announced it more than doubled its 3Q net income to MYR327.3 million (USD105 million) on the back of higher operating revenue, traffic volumes and improved yields. AirAsia closed at MYR2.61, its highest level since 22-Oct-2010. Rival Malaysia Airlines also posted strong results yesterday.

The LCC carried 4.04 million passengers in 3Q, a 12.5% year-on-year increase. Load factor was up 3 ppts to 78%, the average fare was up 22% to MYR173, and ancillary income surged 38% to MRY179.5 milllion. AirAsia’s Thai and Indonesian subsidiaries also carried more passengers, with Thai AirAsia carrying 1.36 million passengers (+8.8% year-on-year) and Indonesia AirAsia 1.08 million (+8.3%). Going forward, the airline said all the all signs are pointing to a “positive” 4Q across the group.

Virgin Blue falls after AGM

Brisbane-based Virgin Blue fell 4.5% despite gains on Australian markets. At the carrier’s AGM on Wednesday, CEO John Borghetti warned of “patchy” demand on its international network, ‘‘competitive pressure’’ in the industry and reduced consumer spending in Australia, which meant yield improvements would be unlikely in the short-term.

US-based LCCs were unchanged as markets were closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 25-Nov-2010