Things are looking rosy for Malaysia’s airlines despite challenging times for the travel industry, with national flag-carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) recording a return to profit and budget carrier AirAsia’s profit jumping 151.6% in the third quarter.

Record passenger numbers have brought a turnaround in fortunes for MAS, which posted a RM233 million (US$73.9 million) Q3 2010 profit right after its RM535 million ($169.6 million) loss in the second quarter. This brings its overall profit for 2010 so far to RM9 million, again an increase on the RM120 million loss for the same period last year.

The airline has credited an economic recovery in Southeast Asia, an aggressive global marketing campaign and competitive pricing for the change. MAS’ cargo service MASkargo also enjoyed a 34% increase in revenues and the company will soon start to take delivery of dozens of new aircraft.

AirAsia, Southeast Asia’s largest budget airline by fleet size, recorded an even greater RM327.29 million ($103.7 million) profit for Q3, up from RM130.07 million for the same period last year. CEO Tony Fernandes said that this was despite Q3 being a traditionally slow month domestically due to Ramadan, and hopes for even greater things once the stronger fourth quarter season gets underway.

source & articles: Channel NewsAsia Business