AirAsia Group reported a first-quarter net profit of RM101.6 million ($42.2 million), down 91% from RM1.1 billion in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the quarter rose 9% year-over-year (YOY) to RM2.8 billion. The growth in revenue was offset by costs related to a 17% YOY increase in capacity, “incurring more operations staff costs, route charges and landing charges,” the carrier said.

Unit costs were up 9% and unit costs excluding fuel increased 11%.

The group’s core Malaysian operation saw 1Q net income decline 22% to RM345.8 million. Revenue was up 4% to RM1.8 billion.

AirAsia Philippines posted a 12% 1Q net profit increase to PHP424.5 million ($8.1 million), boosted by 27% revenue growth to PHP6.7 billion and a 4-point load factor increase to 91%. Passenger traffic, measured in RPKs, was up 29%.

The group’s Indonesian subsidiary reported 60% revenue growth and a 10% yield increase, helping to halve its losses YOY to IDR101 billion ($7.1 million).

Thai AirAsia’s net profit for the quarter was THB903 million ($28.3 million), down 50% YOY.

AirAsia said it is optimistic that all of its Southeast Asian AOCs will be profitable in 2019 and anticipates average load factors of 85% across the group.

The group expects 18 aircraft deliveries in 2019 and has committed 11 aircraft to AirAsia India. The Philippines operation will take in three more Airbus A320s, and Indonesia and Malaysia will each receive two more A320s.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com