Philippine Airlines Flies From Chapter 11 to A $ 72M Half Yearly Profit

For the first time in six years, Philippine Airlines has just reported two quarterly profits in a row, resulting in a 2022 half-year net profit of US $ 71 million. It is a sharp turnaround from the comparable period last year when the airline lost US $ 344 million and was on the verge of applying for Chapter 11 bankruptcy provisions.

On Wednesday, Philippine Airlines posted what it called “record profits.” The airline posted $ 1.1 billion in revenues for the first six months of 2022, which it says is a 258% improvement on the comparable 2021 period. Cargo revenues were up 31%. Philippine Airlines says the support of stakeholders throughout the pandemic, and time spent restructuring the airline, along with a renewed demand for travel, is behind the remarkable turnaround.

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“We view the positive operating results for the first half of 2022 as a demonstration of the loyal support of our Philippine Airlines customers, for which we are deeply grateful, and a validation of the efforts of our shareholders, management, and personnel to rebuild our international and domestic network amidst the strengthening recovery of air travel,“said PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Captain Stanley Ng.

A Philippine Airlines Airbus A321neo on the ground. Photo: Airbus

A fast rebound for Philippine Airlines

Safely out of Chapter 11 and seemingly having shrugged off the pandemic’s hangover, Philippine Airlines is now flying to some 70 airports in 21 countries. Those routes include four destinations in the US, two in Canada, three in Australia, and flights west to Doha (DOH), Riyadh (RUH), Damman (DMM), and Dubai (DXD), as well as a swag domestic and shorter haul international routes within Asia.

Operating expenses amounted to $ 986 million in the first six months of 2022, including $ 380 million spent on fuel, which the airline says is a rising financial impost affecting the aviation industry worldwide. “We acknowledge tough challenges ahead, as various regions grapple with rising inflation, higher energy costs, and economic uncertainties,“said Captain Ng.”So we will continue to be fiscally prudent as we mobilize our talents and resources to grow responsibly. “

In addition to easing travel restrictions in the first half of the year, helping the refreshed airline along was a $ 500 million plus capital top-up late last year from majority owner and CEO Lucio Tan. The cash helped Philippine Airlines exit Chapter 11 in December – just four months after entering into it. During that four months, Philippine Airlines managed to erase $ 2 billion in debt.

Philippines Airlines’ fortunes have turned around since exiting Chapter 11 late last year. Photo: Airbus

A lucky break for Captain Ng

What looked like a fresh start was overshadowed when the then President and Chief Operating Officer Gilbert Santa Mari was shown the door in favor of Captain Ng, an Airbus A320 pilot and son-in-law of Lucio Tan. More than one person said Captain Ng’s sole qualification for the job was his relationship of lui with the boss.

Son-in-law or not, maybe Captain Ng does have the Midas touch. He helped steer, or at least didn’t stuff up, Philippine Airlines’ transition back to profitability, and on Wednesday he was enjoying the kudos. But aside from the rebounding passenger numbers and the extra revenue that brings, considerable credit for this rare and pleasing half-yearly profit should go to Gilbert Santa Mari and the hard decisions he made last year, including putting Philippine Airlines into Chapter 11. He lost his job but helped save the airline.


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