Philippine Airlines parent’s profit soars
Philippine Airlines’ parent company saw its first-half profit soar nearly ten-fold, boosted by strong demand during the peak summer months, the Philippine Stock Exchange said Tuesday.
Interim net income for January to June rose to 5.8 billion pesos (US$127 million) from 560 million pesos during the same period last year, PAL Holdings said in an exchange filing Tuesday.
Revenues increased to 55.9 billion pesos from 48.9 billion pesos, with passenger revenues up 15 percent to 47.1 billion pesos, it added.
“These results should put PAL back on the radar screens of investors,” First Grade Holdings managing director Astro del Castillo told AFP.
The company returned to profitability in 2014 for the first time in three years, with a net income of 129.74 million pesos.
Asia’s first airline has struggled in recent years as it has faced increased competition from budget carriers, high fuel prices and a labour strike.
The company has embarked on a US$ 7- billion re- fleeting program, involving over 50 new, more fuel-efficient Airbus jets to replace its ageing fleet. It is also seeking a new investor to help fund its expansion plans.
The airline reopened its New York route earlier this year after the United States lifted safety re- strictions on Philippine carriers in a bid to expand its profits.
It also announced plans to fly to Los Angeles from Cebu, its number-two city, in March next year, bringing PAL’s total weekly flights to the United States to 38.
Del Castillo said the company was expected to remain profitable thanks to robust demand and falling oil prices, although the results failed to cheer investors.
PAL Holdings shares were down 1.52 percent at 5.20 pesos at noon in Manila, compared to a 0.28 percent rise in the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index.
The carrier is controlled by Chinese-Filipino billionaire Lucio Tan — the country’s fifth-richest man, according to Forbes Magazine.