Philippine Airlines said it is unlikely to resume operations to India this year as it focuses on the Australian and Japanese markets.
“I don’t think it will happen within the year... the A321 neo we are using this to our Australia operations, and we are using it to our flights to Sapporo and Chitose in Japan,” said PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista.
PAL in March announced it was temporarily suspending the launch of the Manila-New Delhi service amid the India-Pakistan border tensions.
The airline said earlier it would start four times weekly nonstop flights between Manila and New Delhi next month, using the brand-new Airbus 321neo aircraft.
PAL had said its return to the Indian market would boost the tourism industries of both the Philippines and India.
The airline previously operated the Manila-Delhi route from 2011 to 2013, with most flights incurring costly stopovers in Bangkok because of the limited range of the Airbus A320 aircraft that was then in use.
PAL’s parent, PAL Holdings Inc., earlier reported a net loss of P60.81 million in the first three months of 2019 from P201.63 million in the same period last year.
Consolidated revenues in the first quarter of 2019 amounted to P39.27 billion, up 7.2 percent from P36.62 billion year-on-year.
The company’s expenses in the quarter increased to P36.81 billion, 0.2 percent higher than the previous year’s same quarter total of P36.74 billion, mainly on account of higher maintenance, aircraft, and traffic servicing and reservation and sales.
Flying operations expenses decreased 3.4 percent to P19.15 billion from P19.82 billion in the three months ending March last year, mainly due to lower fuel expenses.
Fuel costs dropped 10.2 percent following the decrease in the average fuel price from $88.36 per barrel in 2018 to $85.04 in 2019, partially offset by the increase in fuel consumption as a consequence of the increase in the number of flights operated.