PAL returns to profitability, books $22M Q1 net gain

Philippine Airlines
The last time Philippine Airlines posted positive first results was in 2016.
  • PAL returns to profitability, books $22M Q1 net gain
  • Operating income of $33.8 million (P1.7 billion) in the first quarter marks PAL’s return to profitability since 2016
  • Passenger revenue soared 201% while cargo revenue jumped 185%
  • PAL unveils plan for major network re-expansion to restore more flights, routes

Philippine Airlines (PAL) returned to profitability in the first quarter of 2022, booking operating income of $33.8 million (P1.7 billion) and net comprehensive gain of $22.6 million (P1.2 billion).

The last time the flag carrier posted positive first results was in 2016, said PAL in a statement.

The airline generated P24 billion ($467 million) revenue in the first three months of 2022, a surge of 185% from P8.302 billion in the same period last year. Passenger revenue soared 201% while cargo revenue bounced 185%.

PAL said the upsurge in revenue reflected a stronger recovery in travel volumes as borders reopened in the Philippines and other key markets in Asia, Australia and North America.

The airline incurred operating expenses of $433 million (P22.3 billion) in the same period, a 50% increase attributed to the significant rise in fuel prices along with the increase in the number of operated flights.

PAL’s operating income of $33.8 million in the first quarter is a turnaround from the $106.5 million operating loss incurred during the same period last year.

“We welcome the financial turnaround demonstrated by the positive operating results for the first quarter of 2022,” PAL president and chief operating officer Stanley Ng said.

“Just the same, we must not lose sight of the considerable headwinds we continue to face, brought about by rising fuel prices, the economic fallout from geopolitical events such as the conflict in Ukraine, and the incomplete recovery in travel markets, as certain Asian regions have yet to fully open their borders,” Ng said.

“To protect the gains we’ve made so far, we must be resolute in exercising fiscal discipline and faithfully carrying out our restructuring initiatives.”

PAL said it has now achieved positive income results for a full six-month period, showing an operating income of $59 million and net income of $42 million in the fourth quarter of 2021.

For 2021, PAL reported a comprehensive income of $1.22 billion, which the airline said reflected the impact of its successful Chapter 11 financial restructuring.

PAL voluntarily filed for bankruptcy with the US Bankruptcy Court in New York to implement a restructuring plan that will help it navigate and survive the COVID-19 crisis.

READ: PAL files for bankruptcy in US

PAL emerged from the Chapter 11 restructuring in December 2021 after it received support from its lenders, aircraft lessors, equipment manufacturers and service providers.

Buoyed by $505 million in fresh capital from its shareholder family, PAL said it is embarking on a major network re-expansion to restore more flights and routes as the Philippines and other countries ease travel restrictions to allow for the continued comeback of leisure and business travel.

PAL expects to return its domestic network to pre-pandemic levels in the second or third quarter of 2022, while continually adding flights on key international routes to the US, Canada, and parts of the Middle East and Asia.

The flag carrier is the only airline operating nonstop flights between the Philippines and both the US and Canada, along with the largest network of multiple flights to Japan and Australia.