SINGAPORE (July 22): Budget carrier Tiger Airways Holdings has narrowed its net losses for 1QFY2016 ended June 30, to $1.7 million, from $65.2 million the year before.

Operating profit was $0.6 million, compared to operating losses of $16.4 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter slipped 2% y-o-y to $168.3 million.

The improved bottomline follows more than a year of restructuring at the company.

It let go of loss-making associates, cut back on fleet and route expansion and stepped up cooperation with the Singapore Airlines group, of which it is now a subsidiary.

Capacity was 7.2% down from the year before. Consequently, the number of booked passengers fell 9% y-o-y.

However, yields were nearly 5% higher from the year before at 6.7 cents per revenue passenger kilometre.

Aircraft utilisation improved nearly 9% to 12.2 hours per aircraft, per day.

Tigerair CEO Lee Lik Hsin told journalists in a conference call that the airline is focusing on stabilising its growth.

The airline is working on improving aircraft utilisation, leveraging on partnerships with low-cost long haul carrier Scoot, and raising ancillary revenue contributions.

For instance, Tigerair has launched ‘neighbour-free’ seating on selected routes, offering passengers the option of having an empty seat next to them, for a fee.

The airline is also expanding the distribution of its tickets, and in April became the first non-Chinese budget carrier to sell on Chinese travel search platform Qunar.com.

Lee says China is an important market for Tigerair, noting that there is potential for the airline to add one or two more Chinese destinations to the network this year.

There is also the option to increase flight frequencies to existing points, he adds.

Shares of Tigerair are trading 1.5% or 0.5 cent lower at 32.5 cents as at 1:17 p.m.

They are up about 18% since the beginning of the year.