For AirAsia it's a record 23rd consecutive profitable quarter

AirAsia has once again delivered profit growth for the quarter, despite operating in a very difficult economic environment characterised by record fuel prices, according to Tony Fernandes, Group chief executive officer.

"This is our 23rd consecutive profitable quarter. This result shows the maturity of our marketing strategy whereby we are able to turn the traditionally weakest quarter and deliver strong results. Our new routes have performed beyond expectations, with the Kuala Lumpur-Shenzhen route proving to be the best ever in the airline's history, "said Fernandes through a statement.

Revenue for the quarter was RM462 million (Ringgit Malaysia), a growth of 39% compared to the same period last year. These results come on the back of 25% growth in passenger volumes, driven by a 10% higher average ticket prices and a 54% growth in ancillary income.

Capacity grew by 34% for the period and load factor was constant to last year's 79%.

''Despite oil prices breaking new records, our cost improvement initiatives and the stronger Ringgit Malaysia against the US dollar has retained our position as the lowest cost airline in the world. The combination of higher yields with lower cost has boosted our profits significantly. Net income for the period was at RM180 million, a 157% growth against last year's net income of RM70 million,'' added Tony Fernandes.

"In addition of being voted as ''The Best Low Cost Airline in Asia 2007'' by Skytrax Research of London; our collective effort as a team has won us another award – The Airline of the Year from CAPA. This award is especially gratifying as it represents the highest level of recognition and honour for AirAsia's outstanding achievements and strategic contribution over the previous year. AirAsia's introduction to the aviation industry as an innovator has grown to the extent it is now a leader that sets the benchmark."

"Six years ago, we began as a small airline with a RM40 million debt and two aircraft. We have successfully turned the business around and had the most profound impact on the aviation industry. True to form, we must believe that our achievements today add up to just another beginning. We cannot rest on our laurels. The sky is high enough and wide enough to accommodate our growth plans. It is up to us to rise to the occasion."