Air Asia chief executive officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes remains bullish on the prospects of the year as he noted the exciting development of the AirAsia Philippines.
“The Philippines is a robust and growing market. We are here because we are confident of its growth. This is just the start for AirAsia revolutionising air travel in the Philippines,” said Fernandes.
AirAsia launched flights from Clark to Kalibo, gateway to Boracay, Davao and Puerto Princesa in March and April 2012.
“Based on the current forward booking trend, underlying demand in the second quarter remains positive. We shall continue our strategy to maintain high load factors with improving yields.”
“Along with the numerous announcements of new routes and increased frequencies since the start of the year, the Group aims to continue to enhance connectivity for our guests and ensuring the best customer experience with high-quality services and products. This shall be supported by the delivery of 17 more new Airbus A320 in the year, as of to date.”
On high fuel prices, Fernandes said: “We are monitoring fuel prices very closely and the moment we perceive an opportunity, we will not hesitate to add to our hedges based on our forward bookings. At the same time, we shall remain focus on containing or driving down controllable costs and maintaining our competitive edge.”
“We are excited about the imminent listing of Thai AirAsia’s parent company which is slated for end of this month. We are also looking forward for Thai AirAsia’s exciting expansion plans to China and India.”
Speaking on AirAsia’s latest addition to the family, AirAsia Japan, he said: “AirAsia Japan is on track to launch operations in the early second half of 2012 and I am ecstatic that we will be starting ticket sales next week.”
Fernandes acknowledged that the company has recently announced to reward its shareholders with a first and final dividend payout of 5 cents per ordinary share subject to shareholders’ approval at the upcoming annual general meeting.
This is in line with company’s vision to give back to shareholders for their support since the Company’s initial public offering in 2004.