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Cebu Pacific shells out P300M more for passenger refunds

  • Cebu Pacific released an additional P300 million to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled due to COVID travel restrictions, raising the total refund amount to P2.7 billion
  • Airline is also processing refund requests filed in June 2020
  • Cebu Pacific is working to raise US$500 million in additional capital to strengthen balance sheet and ensure recovery from impact of COVID-19

Cebu Pacific fleet at NAIA Terminal 3 | Photo from Cebu Pacific

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has reimbursed an additional P300 million of travelers’ refund requests for flights cancelled due to travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this, the airline has so far processed a total of P2.7 billion in refunds, and is currently processing requests filed in June, Cebu Pacific said in a statement.

The airline apologized for the delay, saying “refunds may still take up to six (6) months from the time the request was filed” as the aviation industry gradually adjusts to the new normal.

“Rest assured, we remain fully committed to close off pending refunds at the earliest possible time. Updates will be provided to our passengers once their requests have been processed,” Cebu Pacific said.

To ensure continued affordable and accessible air transport services in the future, Cebu Pacific said it is working on a plan to raise fresh capital.

It earlier revealed a US$500 million fundraising plan to strengthen its balance sheet and ensure its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The so-called Business Transformation Fundraising Plan aims to enable Cebu Pacific “to navigate the current environment and thrive in the new normal.”

The airline expects the fundraising proposal to be taken up at a special shareholders’ meeting on November 20, 2020.

Cebu Pacific’s fundraising proposal is part of a multi-pronged approach in which it will work with capital providers, creditors, suppliers and other stakeholders, especially its employees, to further strengthen its financial position in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

In the first six months of 2020, the airline recorded a 61.2% decline in revenue to P17.3 billion, a sharp fall from the P44.7-billion revenue generated in the same period last year.

Cebu Pacific said the lockdowns imposed in various parts of the country led to cancellation of flights across its entire network. From March 15 to June 30, 2020 alone, around 44,000 flights were cancelled and 2.1 million passengers were affected. Cebu Pacific said it currently operates only about 15% of its pre-COVID-19 operations.

The airline said that since the start of this pandemic, it has been accelerating its transformation into a more digitalized airline to significantly reduce unit cost and allow it to continue offering affordable air travel.

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