PAL nets P1.2 B earnings in Q1

Published May 13, 2022, 2:46 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) returned to profitability in the first quarter of 2022, registering an operating income of $33.8 million (P1.7 billion) and net comprehensive income of $22.6 million (P1.2 billion), the flag carrier disclosed Friday, May 13.

The last time that PAL registered positive 1st quarter results was in 2016.

PAL generated $467 M (P 24 b) in revenues from a 201 percent growth in passenger revenues and a 72 percent growth in cargo revenues for the first quarter, as compared to the same period in 2021.

The uptick in revenues reflect a stronger recovery in travel volumes as borders reopened in the Philippines and other key markets in Asia, Australia and North America.

The cargo sector also continued its strong performance.

The flag carrier incurred operating expenses of $433 M (P22.3 B) in the same period, a 50 percent increase attributed to the significant rise in fuel prices along with the increase in the number of operated flights.

PAL’s positive operating income of $33.8 million for Q1 2022 is a remarkable turnaround from the $ 106.5 million operating loss incurred in the first quarter of 2021.

The improved financial performance was also reflected in PAL’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $93 M (P 4.8 B) for Q1 2022.

“We welcome the financial turnaround demonstrated by the positive operating results for the first quarter of 2022,” says Captain Stanley Ng, PAL President & Chief Operating Office.

“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,” he noted.

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

PAL has now achieved positive income results for a full six-month period, showing an operating income of US$ 59 M and net income of US$ 42 M in the 4th quarter of 2021, with an EBITDA of US$ 145 M.

For 2021 overall, PAL reported a comprehensive income of US$ 1.22 Billion, reflecting the impact of a successful Chapter 11 financial restructuring process that involved a series of breakthrough agreements with major aircraft creditors, bank creditors, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and vendors.

Due to the continued impact of the pandemic throughout 2021, the airline’s operations still suffered a $302M loss last year which was nonetheless a marked improvement on the US$ 849M operating loss in 2020.

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

PAL expects to return to pre-pandemic levels in its domestic network within the second or third quarter of 2022, while continually adding flights on key international routes to the U.S., 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 U.S. and Canada, along with the largest network of multiple flights to Japan and Australia.