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AirAsia X Confident Of Turnaround This Year

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SEPANG – Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X Bhd is optimistic of making a turnaround this year with the implementation of a capacity management and restructuring exercise.

Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the company had seen a positive trend in February and March in terms of base fares and off-take.

“The capacity management is not to scale down, but on how to realign the company to put in on the right projection, after a challenging last year due to three aviation incidents.

“In the first quarter, we are doing a lot more cost-saving integration by looking at whatever routes we can add on, as well as charter flights.

“This is an interim measure until we can develop more commercially viable routes,” he told reporters here after AirAsia X’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM)today.

Last year, AirAsia X recorded a higher pre-tax loss of RM605.18 million, compared with a pre-tax loss of RM212.06 million recorded in 2013.

AirAsia X attributed the pre-tax loss to higher operating expenses of RM3.32 billion for 2014, up 33.9 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, AirAsia X non-executive chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz hoped that the proposed National Aviation Council (NAC) would embark on a pan-Asean framework for the aviation industry as Malaysia takes over the Asean chairmanship this year.

“The NAC is for Malaysia, but we think it is timely to use this platform to see if we can formulate parameters to grow the Asean aviation industry,” she said.

She added that the NAC should be an independent body with not more than six members comprising of experts in the aviation industry and not related to any airline operator.

Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the establishment of the NAC to coordinate all policies related to the aviation industry.

It includes issues arising between Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia Bhd, and airports’ operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. – BERNAMA

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