Cebu Pacific posts P22.2 billion net loss in 2020 due to 'severe' pandemic impact

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2021 04:42 PM

Cebu Pacific airplanes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on April 16, 2018. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Cebu Pacific said Tuesday it posted a net loss of P22.2 billion in 2020 due to the "heavy impact" of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Revenues in 2020 were 73 percent lower compared to 2019, Cebu Pacific said in a disclosure to the stock exchange. 

Total passengers flown in 2020 reached 5 million or 78 percent lower than the previous year. It made a total of 41,804 flights in 2020 or 71 percent lower than 2019, it added.

"With health and safety concerns resulting in the decrease of passenger confidence and heightened travel restrictions, CEB’s operational and financial performance were severely affected," the airline said.

The lockdown imposed in mid-March 2020 restricted air travel in the country. Globally, airlines were also forced to reduce capacity and implement other cost-cutting measures to stay afloat. 

Gradual operations resumed on June 3, still with restrictions such as requiring documents and health certificates which "continue to be a challenge" for the aviation industry and the travelers as well, it said.

Before the pandemic, Cebu Pacific said it made 400 flights a day. In the third quarter last year, it flew an average of 47 flights a day, 76 flights daily by December or about 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels, it said. 

Cargo operations delivered unexpected higher yield, it said. Cargo contributed P5.4 billion or 24 percent of its total revenues in 2020.

The country's largest carrier, however, raised P28.5 billion in fresh capital from stock rights offerings and debt to keep operations sustainable in "2021 and beyond," it said.

"Proceeds of these fundraising activities will be used to strengthen Cebu Pacific’s balance sheet by providing liquidity to address its financial liabilities, and working capital for general corporate purposes," the airline said. 

Local airlines are mandated to serve only essential travelers for domestic flights after the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were once again placed under lockdown. 

The Philippines has also put a cap on arriving international passengers to 1,500 per day until April 18 due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

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