June 17, 2018 at 07:30 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
Philippine Airlines plans to reduce by half the free baggage allowance on domestic and London flights in a bid to mitigate the impact of high jet fuel prices.
PAL, in a filing with the Civil Aeronautics Board, wants to reduce the free baggage allowance to 10 kilograms from 20 kilograms on domestic operations.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the reduction of free baggage allowance only covered promo fares on domestic flights.
“Those who wish to avail of lowest fares and are traveling light may avail of promo domestic fares which offer 10 kg of free baggage allowance,” she said.
“This change is not yet being implemented,” Villaluna added.
PAL carried 1.26 million passengers last year, down 35 percent from 1.95 million passengers, while unit PAL Express flew 5.94 million passengers last year from 5.08 million passengers in 2016.
PAL also reduced the free baggage allowance on its London operations from two pieces at 23 kilograms per piece to only 30 kilograms for economy class.
For business class, PAL wants to cut the free baggage allowance from two pieces at 32 kilograms per piece to only 40 kilograms.
“For London, PAL would like to shift from piece system to weight system,” Villaluna said.
“Under the piece system, an extra piece regardless of weight automatically is charged $150,” she added.
PAL’s move to cut free baggage allowance aims to reduce flying expenses amid higher jet fuel prices.
PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista earlier said it expected to consume 11 million barrels of jet fuel this year, resulting in an additional cost of $143 million 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 42 percent from a year ago.