PAL to reactivate ‘parked’ aircraft
As it expects continued strong recovery of air travel this year, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is reactivating some aircraft it parked during the pandemic lockdowns in response to increasing passenger demand.
“We are expecting a continuing strong market recovery so there are plans in place to enhance and upgrade our fleet,” PAL director Lucio Tan III said during the media luncheon for the flag carrier’s 82nd anniversary celebration in Manila on Wednesday.
Tan said the airline is “reactivating more aircraft that we parked during the pandemic, with all of them going back in service between now and the fourth quarter.”
At the sidelines of the event, PAL president and COO Stanley Ng said the flag carrier has a fleet of 75 aircraft, 68 of which are active and seven were parked.
Ng said reactivating the parked aircraft is dependent on passenger demand.
Nonetheless, the PAL chief said the airline is expecting a positive financial performance this year.
“First quarter performance exceeded expectations,” Ng said without disclosing actual figures.
As of January to September 2022, PAL booked a profit of P6.76 billion, a turnaround from the nearly P22-billion net loss recorded in the same period in 2021.
“We have an extensive domestic network connecting the Philippines' top economic centers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We are already back to 100% of our pre-pandemic domestic flights out of our primary hubs in Manila and Cebu,” Ng said.
“We've expanded our reach to the far corners of Asia and Oceania, with more flights to more destinations in Australia than any other airline. We are excited to be back flying to mainland China, so we can expect further growth in business and tourism from there,” he added.
Tan added that PAL is also taking back some of the aircraft it relinquished during the Chapter 11 restructuring.
The flag carrier exited a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy process it entered in 2021.
“We're giving passengers new and more reasons to fly PAL. So expect that in time, flight frequencies will increase. We will create stronger connectivity locally and internationally,” Ng said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News