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PAL’s profit climbed 92% amid 2023 air travel rebound

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) said Monday it posted a 92-percent increase in net income last year, reflecting a significant rebound in the air travel industry.

The Lucio Tan-led airline said net income amounted to $379 million (P21 billion) last year, up from the $197 million (P11 billion) net income it logged in 2022.

PAL said it achieved this positive performance amid a robust increase in operations and passenger traffic, both internationally and domestically.

The flag carrier operated 105,294 flights in 2023, a 36-percent growth from the 77,533 flights mounted in 2022. This represented an increase of more than 27,000 flights.

This enabled PAL to carry 14.7 million passengers in 2023, a 58-percent uptick from 9.3 million passengers in 2022.

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PAL said it posted a 37-percent surge in passenger revenues from $2.1 billion (P114 billion) in 2022 to $2.9 billion (P160 billion) in 2023, with the continued recovery of air travel post-pandemic.

Total net revenues, including cargo and ancillary revenues, grew 27 percent from $2.6 billion (P139 billion) to $3.2 billion (P181 billion).

“To preserve the gains we have achieved, we must not rest on our laurels. PAL’s corporate transformation continues – we are taking in new aircraft, retrofitting cabins of current aircraft, upgrading airport lounges and introducing more product innovations to address our strategic, financial and operational needs across all areas of our operations,” PAL president and chief operating officer Stanley Ng said.

“Our focus is set firmly on taking care of our customers. We will work collaboratively with government authorities and our service partners to build up our network and take the nation’s flag carrier to new heights in the coming years,” he said.

PAL Holdings president and chief operating officer Lucio Tan III thanked the customers who entrusted their travel journeys to PAL and commended the dedication and commitment of the PAL Group workforce.

“I express my profound thanks for the support and loyalty of our valued passengers and assure them of our unstinting focus on taking care of them when they fly with us. I laud the strategic approach of the PAL management team in navigating industry challenges. Our greatest resources are our people in the PAL Group who have stood resilient and have adopted a transformation mindset that benefits the company and its customers,” Tan said.

Total operating expenses rose 21 percent to $2.7 billion (P153 billion) from $2.3 billion (P123 billion) in 2022 mainly due to the 36 percent increase in number of flights operated in the current year.

Fuel remained the largest cost of PAL, representing 31 percent of revenues. Fuel cost increased by 8 percent year-on-year to $1 billion (P57 billion) due to the increased flight activity, offset by the lower jet fuel prices in 2023 versus 2022.

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