Philippine Airlines said it temporarily suspended flights to and from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia beginning Sept. 19 this year on commercial reasons.
“All routes are subjected to performance reviews and viability. It is deemed necessary to suspend said route in view of the assessment made. This is let me emphasize an interim situation,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.
Villaluna said the airline was seeking the understanding of passengers affected by the suspension of the Manila-Jeddah route.
The airline stopped flying Manila to Kuwait on May 16 because of weak demand and stiff competition.
PAL, however, assured it would maintain its presence in other parts of the Middle East via daily flights to Riyadh and Dubai, four times weekly flights to Doha, thrice weekly service to Abu Dhabi and five times weekly service to Dammam.
PAL, whose profit was dragged down by high fuel prices last year, earlier said it was considering to stop some unprofitable routes to mitigate the impact of rising jet fuel prices.
PAL’s fuel expense rose by $200 million to $749 million last year from $549 million in 2016.
PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista earlier said the airline was expected to consume 11 million barrels of jet fuel this year, resulting in a $143-million additional costs to the country’s flag carrier.
Data from the International Air Transportation Association showed that jet fuel prices averaged $91.4 a barrel as of May 25, up by 41.7 percent from a year ago.
PAL Holdings Inc., the parent firm of PAL, reported a total net loss of P904.7 million in the first quarter, a significant downturn from the P2.71-billion income a year ago.
Revenues climbed to P33.3 billion from last year’s P29.12 billion.
The 14.4-percent improvement in revenues was primarily due to the increase in a number of passengers, additional flight frequencies and the introduction of new routes.
Passenger revenues rose to P27.78 billion from last year’s P24.65 billion, while cargo revenues increased to P1.80 billion from P1.47 billion.
Total expenses escalated 32.4 percent to P34.4 billion from the previous year’s P25.94 billion.