FOXTROTS

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

2009 April 10

Air Asia. Hiding data.

In 2008, Air Asia started reducing the amount of traffic data released*. I presume part of the reason was that progress was beginning to look less than good. Nevertheless, as a company quoted on the stockmarket, it is obliged to release certain information.

 

I have now noted inconsistency – one measure shown for one quarter, a different one for the next quarter. I am surprised the stock-market authorities allow this; even though the obfuscatory data pertains to traffic results and not financial, what use is one without the other?

 

My data is essentially my calculations from data released. For instance, a rounded percentage growth figure (without the resulting number) obliges me to calculate from data revealed in 2007. I believe this methodology shows viable results for 2008.

 

Although my earlier calculations indicated a traffic slowdown for the Air Asia group, particularly for Indonesia, half-year figures show better results, although slower than in earlier years. Total figures for the year indicated growth in seat sales of around 21%, but in Q4 I estimate growth slowed to 13%.

 

The two smaller divisions, Indonesia and Thailand, were growing faster, but I maintain their growth is not as fast as it should be; the main Malaysia division is still producing too-much of the group’s growth.

 

As I have noted before, Air Asia needs a hub in a solid travel market – such as China, Hong Kong, Korea, or Taiwan. These markets are difficult-entry markets. That has pushed AA into planning a new division in a weak-but-accessible market, Vietnam, and risky longhaul expansion – to Australia and a delayed start for Europe.

 

 

*This is despite now-false credos in the airline, which include “Optimum disclosure – higher than industry norms”.

 

The Fox