Cebu Pacific books P1.18-B loss in Q1 as virus grounds flights

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2020 09:26 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2020 10:07 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Cebu Pacific suffered nearly P1.2 billion in losses in the first three months of the year as flights were canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, the airline disclosed on Wednesday.

Cebu Air, which operates Cebu Pacific and Cebgo, said its net loss in the first quarter reached P1.183 billion, representing a 135 percent decrease from the P3.356 billion net income it earned in the same period last year.

Passenger revenues fell 27.4 percent to P11.4 billion in the first quarter from P15.7 billion earned in the same period last year. Cargo revenues dropped 29.7 percent to P1 billion during the period from P1.4 billion last year, the airline said. 

“The overall decline in revenues was brought about by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak which started with the cancellation of flights to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea in varying periods during the quarter due to the imposition of travel restrictions,” the airline said. 

Cebu Pacific said it suspended all scheduled flights starting March 19 because of the rapid escalation of the COVID-19 situation and the Philippine government’s decision to implement an enhanced community quarantine over the entire Luzon. 

The airline said it expects the COVID-19 pandemic may affect its liquidity, but added that it “remains in a very strong and liquid position at the end of the quarter.”

The company said it remains resilient despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 outbreak thanks to its solid relationships with key suppliers, together with various measures currently undertaken to mitigate risks. 

Cebu Pacific, however, said it also doesn’t know when the situation will improve.

“Given the volatile nature of this situation and the uncertainty as to when operating and demand conditions will improve, it will be premature to provide any guidance with respect to expected impact for full year 2020.”

Airlines have been badly battered by the suspension of flights as well as travel restrictions imposed by governments to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The country’s largest airlines earlier appealed for government help saying the industry faces an “existential threat” with cash reserves running low and fleets grounded.