AirAsia records surge in passenger traffic for first three months of 2006

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 (AFP) – Low-cost carrier AirAsia Tuesday announced a big increase in passenger traffic in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2005. Figures released for AirAsia and its Asian associates showed 55.3 percent more passengers were carried from January to March 2006, the third quarter of its current financial year, compared to the same period in 2005.

A total of 2,531,565 passengers were recorded in the three months compared to 1,629,593 in the corresponding quarter in 2005, according to the figures.

AirAsia in Malaysia recorded an increase of 41.9 percent, Thai AirAsia, a gain of 60.6 percent and Indonesia AirAsia, which started operations in December 2004, a surge of 160.9 percent.

“The figures are due to more Airbus A320s entering into service during that period and new destination launches and increased flight frequencies,” an AirAsia spokesperson told AFP.

For the month of March this year, the airline and its associates recorded a 55.8 percent increase to 927,492 passengers compared to 595,128 passengers in March 2005.

The totals represent the number of seats flown by AirAsia, regardless of whether passengers turn