PAL Is Losing $300 Million Monthly Because of COVID-19 Crisis

Total losses nearing P50 billion.

Philippine Airlines had already announced in its annual report that it lost P10.31 billion in 2019, its biggest loss in its corporate history. 

“Stiff competition, matched with ever-increasing costs, have caused the PAL Group to incur losses over the last three years,” the company said in the filing.

But it looks like the flag-carrier’s troubles aren’t over yet.

PAL President Gilbert Sta. Maria said on Thursday (May 21) that the company is bleeding some $300 million a month since the start of the coronavorus pandemic.

“So now that two months have passed plus the losses in February and March, we’ll be approaching close to $1 billion or P50 billion in revenues that have disappeared because of the COVID-19 virus,” he said during an interview aired on ANC.

The company confirmed the numbers in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday.

“We were informed that the amount of US$ 300 Million, more or less, was the level of revenues generated by the airline on monthly basis, PAL Holdings Inc said, through its corporate secretary Ma. Cecilia Pesayco. “Since operations have been closed for almost three months due to COVID-19, the estimate by the PAL President of close to US$ 1 Billion revenue loss is not without basis.” 

In late February, PAL announced it was retrenching some 300 ground-based administrative and management personnel in the wake of its losses in 2019 “aggravated by the ongoing travel restrictions and flight suspensions to areas affected by COVID-19.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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