AirAsia X seeks creditors’ help as losses deepen

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X Bhd needs creditors’ support to ride out the coronavirus crisis, the long-haul budget airline said on Wednesday, as it posted a quarterly loss and revenue plunge.

The company reported a net loss of RM305.2 million for the April-June quarter versus a net loss of RM207.1 million a year earlier.

Revenue tumbled 91% to RM91.4 million, it said in a bourse filing, as air travel was almost brought to a halt by restrictions to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

AirAsia X said it continued to face severe liquidity constraints, and to seek payment deferrals and concessions from suppliers, lessors and lenders. It will also implement further payroll cuts in the next month.

It said its ability to continue in business depended on a gradual resumption of scheduled flights in early 2021 and a return to profitability, contingent on support from aircraft lessors, maintenance service firms and financial institutions.

Its parent, AirAsia Group, reported its largest quarterly loss on Tuesday, but said its overall airline business had stabilised, mainly supported by domestic services that are separate from AirAsia X.

AirAsia X said that in the current uncertainty over the lifting of border restrictions, it had stopped selling tickets for future travel dates.

Its aircraft fleet remains grounded, apart from limited cargo and charter flights.

The airline operated only 16 scheduled flights during the quarter carrying 2,291 passengers, compared with 4,824 flights and 1,455,052 passengers a year ago.

The company hedged fuel this year at an average Brent price of US$61.45, and has restructured 70% of its fuel hedging contracts, it said in a separate statement.

It said it expected to see some hedging losses as fuel prices are expected to remain weak in the near term.