AirAsia Reports Big Jump In Profit

February 24, 2011

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Malaysia's AirAsia reported an eight-fold increase in quarterly profit driven by growth in passenger volumes, and warned it may have to impose a fuel surcharge if oil prices stayed high.

The airline said it filled 82 percent of the space available for passengers in the fourth quarter, up three percentage points from a year ago.

"Based on the current forward booking trend, the underlying passenger demand in the first and second quarters for the Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian operations remains positive," AirAsia, Asia's largest budget carrier by fleet size, said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier this month, industry association IATA said the number of international air passengers from mainland China will rise by an average of 10.8 percent per year through to 2014, making it the world's fastest-growing market.

Net profit for October-December was at MYR316.6 million ringgit compared with a profit of MYR33.8 million ringgit a year ago.

Full-year net profit came in at MYR1.1 billion ringgit against MYR506 million ringgit a year ago.

The budget carrier, which competes with Jetstar Asia Airways and Tiger Airways in the region, said it will take delivery of three A320 aircraft in the first quarter of the year, one of which will be operated in Thailand and two in Indonesia.

(Reuters)