Philippine Airlines reports USD 1bn revenue loss following COVID-19

- A Monitor Desk Report 28 May, 2020 | 566 Views|-+
Dhaka: Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced a loss of nearly USD 1 billion in revenue since the suspension of operations following the coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, Gilbert Santa Maria, President of the airline said the carrier has seen revenue slide by over USD 300 million per month - totalling nearly USD 1 billion - since suspending operations in March.

Parent firm PAL Holdings said that the airline had been “more or less” generating revenues of USD 300 million per month and Santa Maria’s estimate is “not without basis”.

Reports further states that Santa Maria also stressed that the airline is “not in immediate danger of bankruptcy”, primarily due to a USD 296 million cash injection from owner Lucio Tan, who is also PAL’s Chairman and Chief Executive.

PAL Holdings’ 2019 financial results show it had received PS 11.4 billion from Buona Sorte Holdings (BSHI), a company owned by Tan, in the period to December 31, followed by a separate USD 93 million (PS 4.7 billion) infusion in the first quarter of 2020.

In 2019, PAL Holdings posted an operating profit of PS 2.87 billion and revenue grew by 2.7 per cent, to more than PS 154 billion. Net loss, however, widened from PS 4.33 billion in 2018 to PS 10.3 billion, partly due to the adoption of a new accounting standard.

Santa Maria has also suggested that PAL could reduce its fleet size and headcount. “For example, if we find out that we are going to need to return say 10-20 per cent of our aircraft because demand just isn’t there – so we don’t have to pay rent, we’ll return the aircraft – well that means we’re going to have to reduce our flightcrews and our cabin crews by (a) similar amount because we will have fewer aircraft.”

He added, while PAL plans to resume operations after the Philippines’ quarantine measures are lifted on May 31, it will operate a limited schedule in June and July: 5-10 per cent of its normal schedule of international flights to points in Asia and North America; and 20-30 per cent of its previous domestic schedule.

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