Consolidated losses in the January-March 2018 narrowed significantly from B295.57 million in the same period last year down to B26.88mn this year.
Revenue grew by 5.6% from the same quarter of last year to B4.32 billion, while average cost per seat declined, cabin factor improved and more passengers were carried, all despite the rise in fuel costs.
“The result is better than expected and it clearly shows that our business turnaround plan has continued to bear fruit and we are in the right course for recovery,” Nok Air CEO Piya Yodmani said.
Adoption of new marketing initiatives which allow Nok Air to capture several market segments, increased competitiveness, stricter cost control enforcement, productivity enhancement have contributed to improved financial result.
Those improvements allowed Nok Air to better deal with the 23.2% increase in fuel costs in the period, Mr Piya noted.
The airline was able to fill more seats in the quarter, thus achieving an average of cabin factor of 93.8%, 6.1 points higher than last year in the same quarter.
The airline carried 3.83% more passengers with a tally of 2.52mn, up from 2.43mn in the same period last year, thanks to the surge in passengers on its expanded Chinese traffic.
Passenger numbers on the Chinese routes jumped 149.57% to 235,363, up from 94,308, as the airline boosted its Chinese coverage to 19 cities from eight in the same quarter of 2017.
As a result, contribution of revenue from the Chinese operation to the airline’s overall income was at 19.82%, compared with 7.51% in the same quarter last year.
The quarter saw Nok Air increased aircraft utilization by 21.5% to 10 hours per aircraft per day from 8.23 hours, contributing to higher productivity.
At the end of the quarter, Nok Air operated a fleet of 29 aircraft, down from 31.26 a year ago. The airline added two domestic routes in the first quarter to a total of 25, while its international scheduled routes remained unchanged at three.