MANILA - Philippine Airlines on Tuesday said it implementing a company-wide workforce reduction program covering about 2,300 employees, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh down travel demand.
PAL said this represents about 30 percent of its workforce, and includes both voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchment.
The affected personnel will continue to be employed until mid-March 2021, the company said.
“This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision. For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition,” said PAL President Gilbert F. Sta. Maria.
The airline said it carried out the retrenchment amid the ongoing pandemic that has massively affected the global airline industry.
"While demand for air travel slowly returns, the airline states that it is still far from pre-pandemic levels," PAL said.
The airline noted that it currently operates less than 30 percent of its pre-pandemic number of weekly flights.
PAL said that prior to the retrenchment, it implemented temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to hold off job cuts as long as possible and ensure that its employees continued to receive salaries and benefits, particularly medical benefits, during the height of the pandemic.
The company said it had advised employees as early as October 2020 about the retrenchment.
Meanwhile, PAL said its current operations will continue without disruptions.
PAL said it will also be supporting the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines, once available.
Cebu Pacific and AirAsia have also retrenched employees as the pandemic gutted travel demand.