FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) assured the public on Tuesday that its operations will not be affected by its ongoing “comprehensive restructuring.”

The statement was issued on Tuesday in response to a request for comment on a report posted on FlightGlobal, an aviation news and information website, that the airline had informed its lessors of a plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States by the end of the month.

“Philippine Airlines management and stakeholders continue to work on a comprehensive restructuring plan that will enable PAL to emerge financially stronger from the current global crisis,” the flag carrier said in a statement sent via Viber on Tuesday evening by its spokesperson, Cielo C. Villaluna.

“As the work is ongoing, we will make the necessary disclosures at the proper time, once details are finalized,” PAL added.

The company also said that any restructuring will have no effect on its flights or operations.

The flag carrier is increasing its international and domestic flights “as the market recovers with easing restrictions,” it noted.

“We continue to operate repatriation flights and transport COVID-19 vaccines to and throughout the Philippines, as part of the global effort to combat the pandemic.”

In November last year, the Finance department said the flag carrier was planning to seek court protection from creditors as it was working on a debt restructuring plan.

Local airlines have been pushing for the relaxation of travel restrictions to gradually restore air travel demand amid the global health crisis.

Aviation think tank Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has said airline revenues are expected to be “close to catastrophic” in the first half of the year.

CAPA expects business travel to be at “as much as 50% of previous levels” in the second half of 2021.

PAL Holdings, Inc., the listed operator of the flag carrier, has not yet released its 2020 annual report and its report for the quarter ended on March 31.

To recall, PAL’s total revenues for the first nine months of 2020 stood at P45.29 billion, down 61.6% from the previous year’s P117.85 billion.

Its net loss to parent equity holders hit P28.85 billion, or more than three times the P8.49 billion recorded in 2019.

PAL Holdings shares closed 0.86% higher at P5.86 apiece on Wednesday. — Arjay L. Balinbin