Philippine Airlines confirms report on record losses

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2020 11:28 AM | Updated as of Mar 02 2020 02:41 PM

MANILA -- Philippine Airlines said Monday a newspaper report saying it lost a record P10.6 billion in 2019 "generally describes" its current condition and that it was addressing the situation.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted a letter to employees from PAL COO Gilbert Santa Maria which said long-term debt was "unsustainable," lease obligations amounted to "billions" of dollars.

The coronavirus outbreak and the Taal eruption last January "aggravated" the airline's financial woes, according to the report. The flag carrier said Friday it laid off 300 employees citing the reasons stated in Santa Maria's memo, as reported by the Inquirer.

"We confirm that the article generally describes the current condition of the airline and the steps taken by the Management and majority shareholders to address the situation," PAL Holdings told the stock exchange.

Shares of PAL Holdings fell 4.35 percent on Monday. It disclosed the layoffs after trading hours Friday.

According to the Inquirer, PAL incurred a net loss of $208 million (P10.6 billion) in 2019, the largest in its history,.It was also the third straight year of losses for the carrier controlled by billionaire Lucio Tan.

No 2019 earnings data were included in Monday's disclosure to the stock exchange.