AirAsia X expansion sparks unprecedented growth

Photo courtesy of Asian Aviation

AirAsia X soared to new heights, carrying a staggering 890,289 passengers in the fourth quarter of 2023, experiencing a 2.6-fold increase year-on-year.

Passenger Load Factor (PLF) has risen to 82%, a remarkable three-percentage-point surge. The surge comes on the heels of an impressive 2.5-fold increase in seat capacity, making it a clear winner in the aviation race.

During the quarter in review, AirAsia X Malaysia flexed its wings with 16 operational aircraft, a significant leap from the meagre six aircraft in the same period of 2022. This leapfrog in fleet size translated into increased flight frequencies and network expansions, catapulting the Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) capacity to 4,770 million, a whopping 2.8 times year-on-year. The Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) growth mirrored this feat, standing at a staggering close to three times year-on-year, reaching an impressive 3,839 million.

Emboldened by its success, AirAsia X spread its wings further, launching a new route to Hong Kong with seven flights per week in December. The quarter witnessed increased flight frequencies to Seoul, Sydney, Melbourne, and Bangkok, culminating in a total weekly flight frequency of 144 flights by year-end.

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On a full-year scale, AirAsia X Malaysia proudly posted an 80% PLF, a two-percentage-point surge against the preceding year. Remarkably, the airline carried over 2.8 million passengers, reflecting an astounding YoY growth of about 6.8 times. With 9,799 flights, the ASK capacity surged by 7.5 times to 15,604 million. AirAsia X Malaysia now boasts 22 destinations, launching eight routes over the 12 months.

Not to be outdone, AirAsia X Thailand reported a robust PLF of 86% in 4Q23, with passengers carried growing by approximately 1.7 times YoY to 387,217. The quarter witnessed a 1.8-fold increase in seat capacity to 450,979. The full-year results for AirAsia X Thailand boasted an 83% PLF, carrying over 1.3 million passengers – a 4.5-fold increase from January to December 2022. The airline serviced six routes, solidifying its presence in key markets such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and China, reported Asian Aviation.

As of December 31 last year, AirAsia X’s formidable fleet stood at 18 A330s, with 16 aircraft activated and operational. Meanwhile, AirAsia X Thailand boasted a fleet of eight A330s, with seven aircraft activated and soaring through the skies.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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