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AirAsia records worst-ever earnings, but sees brighter year ahead

CEO Fernandes 'very optimistic' for restart of global air travel in second half

AirAsia has been working to overcome the harsh financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic by cutting costs, raising operating capital and hasten its expansion of non-airline businesses.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Low-cost carrier AirAsia Group racked up its worst ever annual earnings in 2020 as a result of domestic and international border closures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it said Monday, but talks on digital health passports and rapid COVID-19 immunization programs promise better prospects this year.

The Malaysian airline's net loss widened to 2.44 billion ringgit ($589.1 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31 from 384.4 million ringgit in the corresponding quarter in 2019. Sales also fell to 267.4 million ringgit from 3.23 billion ringgit previously, it said in a filing to the local stock exchange.

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