Ultra bilyonaryo Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines (PAL) posted a net income of P1.2 billion from January to March, the first time it registered positive first quarter results since 2016.
“This is a significant development that marks PAL’s return to profitability,” the flag carrier said.
PAL has now achieved positive income results for a full six-month period following a net income of $42 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, with an EBITDA of $145 million.
The flag carrier registered P24 billion in revenues, fueled by a 201 percent jump in passenger revenues and a 72 percent spike in cargo revenues.
PAL said the uptick in revenues reflected a stronger recovery in travel volumes as borders reopened in the Philippines and other key markets in Asia, Australia and North America.
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Operating income reached P1.7 billion or $33.8 million, a turnaround from the $106.5 million operating loss it incurred a year ago.
Operating expenses jumped 50 percent to P22.3 billion on the back of the significant rise in fuel prices along with the increase in the number of operated flights.
PAL president and CEO Stanley Ng remains cautious about the months ahead given the continuing spike in fuel prices, geopolitical events such as the conflict in Ukraine, and the incomplete recovery in travel markets as certain Asian regions have yet to fully open their borders.
“To protect the gains we’ve made so far, we must be resolute in exercising fiscal discipline and faithfully carrying out our restructuring initiatives,” Ng said.
PAL expects to return to pre-pandemic levels in its domestic network in the second or third quarter, while continually adding flights on key international routes to the US, Canada, and parts of the Middle East and Asia.