PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. flew 2.2 million passengers during the second quarter of 2019. — FILE PHOTO REUTERS

PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. reported its load factor rose to 91% during the second quarter as it ferried 2.2 million passengers.

The Philippine unit of AirAsia Group Berhad said in a preliminary operating statistics report that it booked a load factor of 91% in the second quarter, growing from 87% in the same period last year.

Load factor is the measure used by airlines on how much an aircraft’s carrying capacity is utilized.

“AirAsia Philippines added an additional 18% capacity in (the second quarter of 2019) on increased frequencies of domestic routes,” said the report posted on the company’s website.

The increased capacity allowed AirAsia Philippines to record a 22% increase in the number of passengers flown during the three-month period to 2.2 million, from 1.8 million in the same period last year.

AirAsia Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Dexter M. Comendador said in a chance interview last month the company performed “as good as the first quarter” in the April to June period.

“We increased our capacity, added aircraft. And travel is talagang booming sa Philippines kasi gumaganda ’yung economy natin [Travel is really booming in the Philippines because of our improving economy]. Since we’re offering the lowest fares, talagang ’yung mga bagong angat ng estado [those who are starting to earn more] are enabled to travel,” he said then.

The local unit of AirAsia Berhad posted a 12% growth in profit in the first quarter at P424.5 million, on the back of a 27% increase in revenues at P6.68 billion.

It is targeting to swing to profit by the end of 2019 from a loss of P2.11 billion last year. It also set its revenue target at P30 billion this year and about P50 billion in the next three years.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Philippines recently entered a partnership with flight school Omni Aviation Corp. for a cadet pilot training program.

The company said in a statement the program will offer up to two years of technical and leadership training to aspiring AirAsia cadets.

The carrier will shoulder the costs for its employees, and subsidize for those that are not part of the company, which the cadets will reimburse upon completion of the program.

“We’ve partnered with Omni Aviation, a leading Filipino training provider, to offer ten cadetships in the initial batches and the opportunity to embark on a new career with (AirAsia),” Mr. Comendador was quoted as saying. — Denise A. Valdez