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AirAsia X announces a smaller rights issue

THE STAR – AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) has announced a 1-for-1 rights issue and a special issue to raise a total of MYR166 million.

The long haul budget carrier had earlier obtained shareholders approval for a larger rights issue to raise up to MYR300 million and a special issue of MYR200 million as part of its restructuring scheme.

The one-for-one rights of 414 million shares are priced at 28 cents per share, to raise MYR116 million with a similarly priced special issue to raise MYR50 million. All approvals have been obtained for the fundraising. AAX chief financial officer Andrew Littledale said at the beginning of 2021 we had MYR95 million in cash.

“Our average cash burn for the last 14 months averaged MYR3 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,” he said.

AAX Chief Executive Officer Benyamin Ismail said: “Flying three planes in the quarter ended December 31, we sharply narrowed our operating loss to MYR12 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 targetted fleet strength of at least 15 A330s,” he added.


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