Malaysia’s AirAsia X seeks creditor help to tide over virus crisis

FILE PHOTO: Tail of AirAsia X plane as seen at the Garuda Maintenance Facility AeroAsia in Tangerang, Indonesia, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta

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

The company reported a net loss of 305.2 million ringgit ($73.2 million) for the April-June quarter versus a net loss of 207.1 million ringgit a year earlier.

Revenue tumbled 91% to 91.4 million ringgit, 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 $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.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.