PAL eyes 100% pre-COVID domestic capacity by Q4

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  • PAL eyes 100% pre-COVID domestic capacity by Q4
  • 80% of that level has been achieved in the first quarter
  • In terms of international flights, PAL has reached 60% of its pre-pandemic level, says PAL president and chief operating officer Stanley Ng

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has now reached 80% of its pre-pandemic domestic capacity and hopes to return to 100% level by the fourth quarter of this year.

PAL president and chief operating officer Stanley Ng said there is a “very good possibility” this can be achieved by the fourth quarter as travel peaks during the holidays.

In terms of international flights, Ng said PAL has already reached 60% of its pre-pandemic level. He said PAL will resume or open more flights once countries open up.

Ng, meanwhile, noted that PAL had “better than expected” results in the first quarter.

“We actually beat our budget,” Ng said.

And as the country recovers from COVID-19 and travel restrictions continue to ease in all areas, PAL would begin restoring flights that were suspended previously, Ng said.

Ng earlier said PAL is set to reach pre-COVID levels for domestic flights for its Manila hub from April onwards, with 27 destinations and more than 450 departures during the summer season. PAL will also build its Cebu hub, expanding flights to 13 domestic routes and opening some flights to Japan.

READ: PAL eyes more hybrid flights, last-mile deliveries to boost cargo business

PAL earlier announced it is mounting more than 1,500 additional flights in March, a 52% increase in its regularly scheduled flights, as it implements a major expansion of its overseas and local network as international borders reopen and domestic travel restrictions ease.

Ng said PAL will also continue to evaluate regional flights to support nation-building and will beef up network partnerships.

The airline completed its Chapter 11 restructuring last December, allowing for a US$505-million fresh capital, reduced debt, and a streamlined fleet of aircraft.