NokScoot's Q1 success sparks optimism

NokScoot's Q1 success sparks optimism

Mr Yodchai poses with the airline's fourth Boeing 777-200, a recent delivery.
Mr Yodchai poses with the airline's fourth Boeing 777-200, a recent delivery.

NokScoot, a medium- to long-haul low-cost carrier based in Thailand, performed well in the first quarter this year, with results in line with the airline's strengthened flight operations, higher passenger tally, increased fares, enhanced yields and cost control measures.

The airline, a joint venture between Thailand's Nok Air and Singapore-based Scoot, reported a net profit of 37.1 million baht in the quarter, up from 9.99 million in the same period last year.

"We are pleased with the first-quarter results as they bode well for our target to report a healthy 2018 year-round performance," said NokScoot chief executive Yodchai Sudhidhanakul.

Despite fierce market competition and expected higher fuel prices, NokScoot is confident it will fully turn its balance sheet around for the first time since its inception in 2014.

"We think we can manage the higher fuel prices envisaged this year and that should not hinder our 2018 profit forecast," said Mr Yodchai.

Revenue soared by 32.9% to 1.77 billion baht compared with 1.33 billion a year ago, and total costs grew at a lower rate than revenue, despite a spike in fuel prices.

The quarter saw NokScoot boosting its average fare per passenger by 10.2% from the previous period.

The airline carried 311,165 passengers in the first quarter, 57,909 more than the previous quarter.

NokScoot raised its flight tally to 883 for the quarter, up from 684 in the previous period, thanks to the deployment of an additional aircraft that brought the fleet to four Boeing 777-200 wide-body jets.

NokScoot expects to post 120 million baht in net profit for 2018.

The airline's revenue is expected to break the 10-billion-baht barrier for the first time this year.

Instrumental to the growth projection is the airline's increased network, flight frequencies, fleet size, greater passenger volumes and revenue boost.

For the whole of 2018, NokScoot projects it will carry 1.88 million passengers, 76% more than in 2017.

Later this year NokScoot plans to debut routes to Japan, South Korea and India.

Launched in 2014, NokScoot operates medium- to long-haul routes from Bangkok's Don Mueang airport.

It flies to Dalian, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Tianjin and Xian in China, and Taipei in Taiwan. This year's network expansion was spearheaded on June 1 with the inauguration of Bangkok-Tokyo (Narita) daily services.

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