PAL handles 24% more cargo in 2023

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Image by 필대리 from Pixabay
  • Philippine Airlines handled 24% more cargo in 2023 than in 2022 as it saw both its domestic and international market shares increase
  • The flag carrier lifted 179 million kilograms of cargo in 2023, compared to 145 million kg in 2022
  • Its domestic cargo market share grew to 46% in 2023 from 44% in 2022 and its international outbound market share to 13% from 10%

Philippine Airlines (PAL) handled 24% more cargo in 2023 than in 2022 as it saw both its domestic and international market shares increase.

PAL chief financial officer Anna Isabel Bengzon in a presentation to media on April 2 said they saw cargo tonnage start to recover in 2023 as aircraft belly hold capacity increased globally following a challenging 2022.

PAL lifted 179 million kilograms of cargo in 2023, compared to 145 million kg in 2022.

According to its 2023 financial report, it was able to move domestic and international cargo within Asia and to North America last year through the support of its cargo agents and freight forwarders, as well as interline partnerships with Globalwind and China Central Airlines, and codeshare partnership with Amerijet.

PAL’s domestic cargo market share increased to 46% in 2023 from 44% in 2022 based on data from the Civil Aeronautics Board, while its international outbound market share grew to 13% from 10% according to International Air Transport Authority’s Cargo Market Focus Report.

Cargo yields, however, went down due to the availability of more capacity, Bengzon noted. Revenue from cargo declined 38% to P7.941 billion in 2023 from P12.848 billion in 2022.

This year, PAL vice president for cargo business Jason Siy told PortCalls in an interview at the sidelines of the media briefing that they expect to continue handling more cargo as the flag carrier introduces nonstop flights between Manila and Seattle starting October 2, 2024, its eighth destination in North America.

READ: PAL Manila-Seattle service starts on Oct 2

Siy said most of the cargo going to their existing Vancouver, Canada flights such as tuna and e-commerce packages are really bound for Seattle.

He noted capacity is PAL’s current constraint as most of its flights are “quite full already” but the new Seattle service will help bump up capacity.

Siy said initially, they are estimating 60 tons of cargo per week but it will still depend on the remaining capacity of each flight.

The PAL Manila-Seattle-Manila services will initially operate three times a week, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with departures at 10:40pm local time from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, and at 11:40pm local time from Seattle Tacoma International Airport.

PAL expects delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in time for the new Seattle service. The new plane will be the latest addition to PAL’s current fleet of 78 aircraft.

Siy said a big chunk of cargoes handled by PAL are bound to North America and the Middle East, handling different types of cargoes such as perishable goods, electronics, auto parts, and e-commerce shipments, among others.

He said PAL is also continuously exploring and has been talking to some potential partners for the cargo business, such as Emirates.

In addition to the online international network, PAL’s cargo business also services offline points through its offline general sales agents in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Israel, and Turkey.

PAL Cargo also partnered with freight forwarder Airspeed to cater to the unique needs of micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines.  – Roumina Pablo