Asia Aviation reports more losses in 2021 as Covid-19 continues to impair air travel

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Asia Aviation (AAV), the operator of low-cost airline Thai AirAsia, reported a net loss of 6.65 billion baht in 2021, 40 per cent bigger than 2020, owing to the crippling impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During 2021, Thailand faced severe domestic outbreaks of Covid-19, notably the outbreak of the Delta variant in the third quarter, which halted air travel  in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

AAV, however, managed to see improved performance in the fourth quarter of the year thanks to the Test and Go programme that allowed vaccinated visitors to travel in the country from November. 

The airline recorded an 11-per-cent lower net loss of 990 million baht compared to the same quarter a year before.

The total passenger number of Thai AirAsia in 2021 stood at 2.93 million, down  69 per cent from 2020, the statement said.

To enhance the financial position and avoid liquidity crisis, AAV is currently in a process of shareholding restructuring by issuing new ordinary shares and convertible debentures. It had a cash flow of 5.36 billion baht as of the end of 2021.

An analyst at KGI Securities predicts  AAV’s business to recover to pre-Covid levels by 2023 driven by improved situation from the pandemic and the reopening of Thailand and related countries. 

“[AAV’s] performance will be able to recover over the next few years,” KGI said in a note. 

As of the morning session, shares of AAV fell by 2.31 per cent from its prior closing to 2.54 baht.

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