Cebu Pacific sees 'significant' hit from COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2020 01:55 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2020 06:43 PM

MANILA - Cebu Pacific said Monday the COVID-19 pandemic would "significantly" dent revenues and operating expenses, as the 30-day quarantine in Metro Manila further strained air travel.

The suspension of domestic flights to and from Metro Manila during the community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, coupled with travel restrictions to and from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea could free up to about 90 percent of Cebu Pacific's seat capacity during the period, the country's largest airline told the stock exchange. 

"CEB anticipates significant revenue impact during the 30-day quarantine period with the suspension of these flights," the statement said.

However, expenses are likewise expected to decline since a "material portion" of its operating costs are based on flights and flight hours, Cebu Pacific said. 

Lower fuel consumption, and a decline in landing, take off and air navigation fees as well as flight-based repairs and maintenance fees are expected, the airline said. 

"Lower fuel price adds a cost benefit with lower fuel consumption but CEB also faces increase in refund and rebooking requests," it said. 

The full impact of COVID-19 for 2020 is "uncertain" due to the volatile nature of the situation, Cebu Pacific said.

Cebu Pacific implements "intensified aircraft disinfection," screens passengers, follows travel restrictions and provides face masks to those showing symptoms of illnesses to protects employees and passengers, it said.