Home » Aviation » PAL wary of near-term prospects

FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects the rest of the year to be turbulent.

“While there are bright spots for PAL, it remains cautious in view of volatile fuel costs; slowdown in Japan traffic due to the tsunami disaster in March; and the still-existing Category 2 status of the country imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration,” the airline said in a statement.

The downgrade in aviation status due to safety concerns bars PAL from expanding in the US.

PAL was the country’s top carrier in terms of passenger volume in the first quarter of the year. It carried the most number of international passengers among local carriers propelled by strong passenger volumes especially to Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and South Korea. The US also contributed a large chunk to airline revenues.

PAL bested its local competitors in international passenger traffic as it flew 1.06 million passengers in the first quarter, 7% more than the same period last year.

Translated into revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) or number of passengers multiplied by distance traveled, PAL registered a total of 5 billion RPKs for the first three months of the year. Of this number, 4.25-billion RPKs accounted for PAL’s international traffic, and the balance, domestic traffic.

Earlier, Airline Business magazine ranked PAL as the world’s 61st largest airline. The ranking is based on RPK, considered the true measure of airline passenger traffic. For the last two years, PAL recorded an average of 17.8 billion RPKs in the magazine’s World Airline Rankings.

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