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With better cash flows and a robust business outlook, AirAsia X announces a smaller rights issue

AirAsia X (AAX) announces a 1 for 1 rights issue and a special issue to raise a total of RM166 million. It had earlier obtained shareholders approval for a larger rights issue to raise up to RM300 million and a special issue of RM200 million as part of its restructuring scheme.

The one for one rights of 414 million shares are priced at RM0.28 per share, to raise RM116 million with a similarly priced special issue to raise RM50 million. All approvals have been obtained for the fundraising.

Explaining the reduction in funds to be raised, AirAsia X Chief Financial Officer Andrew Littledale said: “At the beginning of 2021 we had RM95 million in cash. Our average cash burn for the last 14 months averaged RM3 million a month. We will be able to sit through any eventualities in the next couple of years even if borders do not open, which however will not be the case. A larger fund raise is now not only unnecessary but will also be punitively dilutive particularly to existing retail shareholders who may not be able to fund a bigger rights issue at this difficult time.”

Benyamin Ismail
AirAsia X Chief Executive Officer Benyamin Ismail said: “Flying three planes in the quarter ended 31st December, we sharply narrowed our operating loss to RM12 million as we ramped up our cargo business post the successful restructuring vote by creditors in November last year. We expect to have seven planes fully operational by the end of this quarter with the current fleet of 11 wide body A330’s all flying by the end of October 2022. Discussions are also being held for AAX to lease at least another four planes in preparation for a full resumption of passenger flights when borders open with a targeted fleet strength of at least 15 A330s.”

“We have used the downtime in passenger flying to ramp up cargo revenue and will continue to further build on it. As recently announced, we have now cemented strategic cargo relationships with Teleport and Geodis in this new quarter and we are in various stages of discussions with more global logistics providers to underpin the implementation of our combination carrier strategy, with cargo being the main revenue stream and passengers ancillary to add to it.”
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