The retrenchment program will combine voluntary and involuntary measures and will be implemented within the fourth quarter of 2020, PAL said in a statement. The first stage of the retrenchment program is voluntary separation.
“At the height of the pandemic, PAL chose to implement temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to maintain jobs as long as possible,” PAL said.
“However, the collapse in travel demand and persistent travel restrictions on most global and domestic routes have made retrenchment inevitable, with PAL currently operating less than 15% of its normal number of daily flights after 8 months of lockdowns,” the airline added.
PAL last February had let go of 300 ground-based administrative and management personnel as part of its business restructuring to increase revenues and reduce costs.
PAL’s performance during the first semester had been severely affected by the worldwide travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first semester of the year, the airline reported a total comprehensive loss of P22.02 billion, which is 632% higher than its total comprehensive loss of P3.01 billion in the same period last year. The flag carrier is also paying more than US$300 million (P15.9 billion) in refund requests from passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline last month said about 80% of these requests have already been refunded.
PAL said that as of September it has restored nearly 15% of its regular domestic and global network, and it intends to ramp up more flights and more routes in line with an expected easing of travel and quarantine restrictions.
PAL expects a $1 billion or P50 billion loss from February up to the time quarantine restrictions are lifted, company president and chief operating officer Gilbert Santa Maria said earlier.