MANILA – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) may be forced to lay off more employees due to revenue losses in the current imposed travel ban in countries hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The layoff may depend on how its recovery goes once commercial flights are allowed to resume. According to Philippine Airlines President and COO Gilbert Santa Maria in an ANC interview that revenue losses are nearing $1 billion due to flight cancellations brought upon by Covid-19 pandemic.
“For every month the crisis has passed, we’ve lost over $300 million in revenue, every single month. 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.Santa Maria said PAL would be assessing as soon as company start seeing recovery.
“if we find out that we are going to need to return say 10 to 20 percent of our aircraft because demand just isn’t there – so we don’t have to pay rent, that means we’re going to have to reduce our flight crews by similar amount because we will have fewer aircraft,” Santa Maria added.
“we’re preparing to take action at this point as I’ve told the employees, nobody has any job guarantees.” Sta. Maria went on to say that the only people who can guarantee and can avoid layoffs are Filipino passengers who continues to fly the airliner.The carrier plans to restart operations once the MECQ has been lifted in Metro Manila by the end of May.
“For international, we’ll probably start between five and 10 percent in June and July of our normal schedule. For domestic, about 20 to 30 percent in June and July and we will slowly ramp up as demand picks up for both domestic and international,” he added.
PAL Holdings Inc., the operator of the flag carrier which is partly owned by Japan’s ANA Holdings, reported a net loss of P10.31 billion last year, a 138 percent expansion from the P4.33 billion net loss posted in 2018.