PAL Cuts 2,300 Jobs or 30% of Workforce

The airline is struggling.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced that it will be cutting 30 percent of its workforce, equal to 2,300 employees. Called a "company-wide workforce reduction program," the massive job cuts include both voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchment. 

Their last day will be mid-March 2021. 

According to PAL, the affected employees were informed of the retrenchment program as early as October 2020. 

The workforce reduction comes after PAL's efforts to delay job cuts for "as long as possible." The company implemented work furloughs and flexible working arrangements to ensure employees could still receive salaries and health benefits during the pandemic.

But based on the recent announcement, it appears PAL's finances are already being stretched too thin. 

"This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision. For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition. We extend to you our deepest gratitude for your years of hard work and dedicated service, and we will always cherish the ties you have established with the PAL family," said PAL president Gilbert F. Sta. Maria. 

Despite being named one of the safest airlines during the time of COVID-19, PAL has been struggling to stay afloat due to the economic effects of lockdowns. Last year, it was reported by Nikkei Asia that the airlines was planning to return 20 leased aircrafts worth $1 billion. The airline is also seeking court-backed debt restructuring in order to alleviate its financial burden.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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