June 05, 2020 at 09:10 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
PAL Holdings Inc., operator of Philippine Airlines and PAL Express, said on Friday losses in the first quarter of the year as operations were severely affected by worldwide travel restrictions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Lucio Tan-led airline said total comprehensive loss amounted to P10.72 billion in the January-to-March period, up 17,525 percent from a loss of P60.81 million year-on-year.
The company blamed the huge increase in losses to “worldwide travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.”
PAL Group operations were halted since March 15 after the government implemented an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Consolidated revenues in the first quarter amounted to P32.07 billion, down 18.3 percent from P39.24 billion a year ago.
The company attributed the lower revenues to the 21.4-percent drop in passenger revenues as a result of flight cancellations in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Passenger revenue amounted to P27.01 billion in the first quarter of the year, down from P34.37 billion a year ago.
Cargo revenues also declined to P1.89 billion, down 14 precent from P2.20 billon.
Consolidated operating expenses increased to P38.63 billion, up 5.2 percent from last year’s P36.71 billion, mainly due to the increase in flying operation expenses, especially fuel expenses as a result of hedging losses.
The increased expenses were offset by the decrease in other group’s operating expenses due to reduced flight operations during the quarter.
Total other charges fell to P2.73 billion mainly due to lower financing charges as a result of payment of loans.
PAL Holdings last year recorded a net loss of P10.31 billion, up 138 percent from a P4.33-billion net loss in 2018. The company also posted a net loss of P7.33 billion in 2017.
PAL and PAL Express expect to resume limited domestic and international operations this month.
The flag carrier operates from four hub airports (Manila, Cebu, Clark and Davao) in the Philippines to an inclusive total of 32 domestic destinations and 41 points in Asia, Australia/Oceania, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
PAL operates the country’s only direct air links to mainland US, Hawaii, Canada, New Zealand and Western Europe, as well as to Sapporo (Japan) and Brisbane (Australia).
PAL has a total fleet of 97 as of December 2019.