PAL booked P82.6-b losses since the start of pandemic

PAL Holdings Inc., the operator of Philippine Airlines, on Thursday reported a total of P82.6 billion in losses since the start of the global pandemic and until the first quarter of the year as it finalizes a comprehensive restructuring plan that would revive its operations.  

The Lucio Tan-led airline said its total comprehensive losses amounted to P73 billion last year, higher that P10.20 billion in 2019.  

The airline also incurred a P9.60-billion loss in the first quarter of the year, slightly lower from P10.72 billion in the same period last year.  

PAL Holdings blamed the huge losses last year and the first quarter to the worldwide travel restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic.  

Revenues of PAL amounted to P55.3 billion last year compared with P81.8 billion worth of expenses.  

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry incurred record losses of more than P6.1 trillion amid a 65-percent decline in airline passenger traffic, the sharpest drop in history.  

Emirates Airlines last year lost about P290 billion, Lufthansa, P385 billion, Cathay Pacific, P134 billion, Singapore Airlines, P154 billion and Japan Airlines P125 billion.  

To continue its operations despite the huge losses, PAL has   drawn on bridge funding and support from its majority shareholder, deferred payments through the forbearance of lessors, lenders and suppliers; carried out a retrenchment  program; and implemented cost-cutting measures.  

“To complete the recovery, PAL management and stakeholders are working on the final   stages of a comprehensive restructuring plan that will enable the airline to emerge financially stronger from the current global crisis,” the airline said.  

“PAL management will make the necessary disclosures at the proper time, once details are finalized. We are confident that  the restructuring will enable PAL to strengthen its capital structure, meet stakeholder obligations and position the company for long-term success,” PAL added.   

PAL said it flights and operations will not be affected in any restructuring.  

“We will increase our international and domestic flights as the market recovers with easing of travel restrictions. The airline’s shareholders, management and employees remain resolute in fulfilling the flag carrier’s mission to provide essential air services for travelers, for the repatriation of our citizens, and for the transport of vaccines and other medical and economic shipments that support the economic recovery of the Philippines,” PAL said.  

For 2021, PAL has increased its regular flights on most of its pre-pandemic routes, in addition to new all-cargo services and special repatriation flights on multiple routes to North America, the Middle East, Asia and throughout the Philippines.  

Topics: PAL Holdings Inc. , Philippine Airlines , COVID-19 pandemic
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