Thai AirAsia has set its sights on carrying a total of 14.5 million passengers this year, up from 12.2 million in 2014, and to acquire three new aircraft between now and the year-end to increase its fleet to 45.
In the first quarter, the airline posted revenue of Bt7.734 billion, with net profit of Bt923 million. It carried 3.7 million passengers, up 19 per cent year on year, while its load factor of 83 per cent was up 3 percentage points.
Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Asia Aviation (AAV), the major shareholder of Thai AirAsia, said that during the first quarter the airline added two Airbus A320s to its fleet, bringing the total to 42.
The airline also added three new domestic routes from Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport – to Nan, Loei and Roi Et – each flying twice daily.
Flight frequencies were also increased from Don Mueang to Phnom Penh (twice daily), to Nakhon Phanom (twice |daily), and to Phuket (13 times daily).
“Our performance in the first quarter of 2015 serves as an affirmation that the overall growth of Thailand’s tourism sector as well as AAV are back on course after being heavily impacted by the political situation in 2014,” Tassapon said.
“Nonetheless, we will continue to work diligently, effectively |manage our capital and seek out new business opportunities to achieve strong performance returns in the remaining quarters of this year.”
He also sought to bolster confidence regarding the International Civil Aviation Organisation recently reporting a “significant safety concern” during an audit of the Thai Department of Civil Aviation. He said AAV and Thai AirAsia had yet to be significantly affected by the situation and had been able to adhere to their business plans, believing that their targets for 2015 will be reached.
NESTLE’S NEW INDOCHINA CHIEF
Nestle (Thai) recently appointed Audrey Liow as chairwoman and chief executive officer of Nestle Indochina, succeeding Wayne England, who has been promoted to lead Nestle’s global food portfolio, effective this month.
Liow, a Singapore national, has more than 27 years of experience at Nestle in various commercial and leadership roles across Singapore, China and Switzerland. Her most recent positions were as regional business head of Nestle nutrition for Southeast Asia and Pacific Rim and as managing director of Nestle Singapore.
Having worked in the Asean region for more than 10 years, Liow is familiar with the people and culture in Southeast Asia.
In her new role as chairwoman and CEO for Indochina, based in Bangkok, she will be responsible for driving the overall strategic direction and growth of Nestle’s business in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.