PAL parent’s losses quadruple to nearly P12B

Rappler.com
The legacy carrier sees mounting losses from its operations as passenger volume declines
Philippine Airlines (PAL) planes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Philippines. File/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The parent company of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) saw its losses balloon by 332% in the first 9 months of its 2013 fiscal year on lower passenger revenues, and high expenses and charges.

PAL Holdings Inc., jointly owned by tycoon Lucio Tan and the San Miguel group, said its net loss reached P11.85 billion in the 9 months ending December, over 4 times its P2.74 billion net loss in the same period of its fiscal year 2012.

It said it booked P5.51 billion losses from operations, consisting of P5.09 billion other charges as well as P1.31 billion financing charges.

“The resulted other charges was primarily due to the impairment loss recognized for certain passenger aircraft that have been grounded or identified for retirement within 2014,” it explained.

The airline’s total comprehensive loss amounted to P9.12 billion.

It said total revenues were almost unchanged at P55.97 billion, compared to P55.68 billion in the previous fiscal year. Passenger revenues, which accounted for 81% of total, slipped 3% to P45.5 billion.

PAL reported that the number of passengers it carried fell to about 5 million from 7.6 million.

Meanwhile, total expenses rose 5.2% to P61.5 billion from P58.43 billion as flying operating expenses, mainly jet fuel costs, went up 6.7% to P36.4 billion from P34.1 billion.

Maintenance expenses increased 6.6% to P7.41 billion, while aircraft and traffic servicing expenses, consisting mainly of landing and takeoff as well as ground-handling fees, jumped 4.3% to P7.26 billion.

During its 2013 fiscal year, PAL operated new flights to London, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Dammam, Brisbane, and Guangzhou, but also discontinued services to Delhi.

San Miguel Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary San Miguel Equity Investments Inc. holds a 49% stake in PAL Holdings. Since the company’s entry in the airline, PAL has acquired close to 65 aircraft from Airbus worth about $10 billion. The Lucio Tan group owns the remaining 51%.

PAL is looking to mount additional flights to the US following the US Federal Aviation Administration’s move to upgrade the Philippines to Category 1 status.

It is looking at New York, Chicago and other cities. It said it would upgrade its fleet for its current US routes, namely, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam.

PAL is also set to launch additional direct flights to Europe after the European Union lifted a ban on the carrier in July last year. PAL now flies to London. – Rappler.com