Thai AirAsia X Predicts Profitable Year with Japan Routes

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Thai AirAsia X anticipates a profitable year, buoyed by nearly 1 million passengers in 2024, largely driven by its robust Japan routes. This projection follows the airline’s return to profit in the first quarter, according to CEO Tassapon Bijleveld.

“The strength of our Japan routes has significantly boosted our performance, particularly during typically slower seasons,” said Mr. Tassapon. He emphasized that these routes maintain consistent bookings even in the third quarter, which usually sees a significant drop in travel demand.

Currently, Thai AirAsia X operates 36 flights per week to four Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. This frequency is expected to help increase the airline’s total revenue by 15%. For 2024, the airline targets transporting 1 million passengers, representing 90% of its 2019 levels, with an average load factor of 85%.

In the first quarter of 2024, Thai AirAsia X achieved its first post-pandemic operational profit, surpassing 1 billion baht. The airline forecasts earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) to reach between 1.5 to 2 billion baht by the end of the year.

The airline is also planning to launch 2-3 new routes within this year, including one additional Japanese city. Potential new destinations under consideration include European cities, Melbourne in Australia, and Sendai along with another northern city in Japan.

Currently, Thai AirAsia X operates a fleet of seven Airbus A330 aircraft, with four more scheduled for delivery. The airline aims to expand its fleet to 15 aircraft by 2025.

Mr. Tassapon also mentioned that the airline plans to exit its rehabilitation plan by the end of this year. To support its expansion, Thai AirAsia X intends to raise 1 billion baht from investors.

Ownership of Thai AirAsia X is divided between Mr. Tassapon, who holds a 48.6% stake, AirAsia X Berhad with 49%, and a group of Thai investors holding the remaining 2%.

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