Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) made a profit of $32.97 million (P1.7 billion) in December, four months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reversing a loss of $11.67 million incurred in November.

According to PAL Chief Financial Officer Nilo Thaddeus P. Rodriguez’s end-December report to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the airline had a gross income of $183.82 million for the month, up 28.1% from $143.48 million earned in November.

PAL filed its December operating report on Jan. 18, according to a copy of the document from the airline’s claims agent Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC.

Broken down, PAL’s passenger revenue grew 37.7% to $132.27 million in December from $96.09 million in November, while cargo revenue declined by 4% to $42.27 million from $44.04 million previously. Ancillary revenue increased 57.5% to $6.74 million from $4.28 million in November.

Its total comprehensive loss since the Chapter 11 filing on Sept. 3 until Dec. 31 reached $36.12 million.

On Dec. 31 last year, the airline announced that it had “emerged” from its voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings “as a more efficient airline with a strengthened balance sheet.”

PAL said it successfully completed its financial restructuring within four months, in contrast to other airlines that remain in the Chapter 11 process more than a year after filing in 2020.

“The company’s plan of reorganization, which was approved by the US restructuring court on December 17, 2021, provides for over $2 billion in permanent balance sheet reductions from existing creditors, improvements in PAL’s critical operational agreements and additional liquidity including a $505 million investment in long-term equity and debt financing from PAL’s majority shareholder,” the airline said in a statement.

“The airline’s consensual restructuring plan was accepted by 100% of the votes cast by its primary aircraft lessors and lenders, original equipment manufacturers and maintenance, repair, and overhaul service providers, and certain funded debt lenders,” it added.

In January, PAL announced that its senior vice-president for operations, Capt. Stanley K. Ng, was appointed as its new president and chief operating officer, in an acting or officer-in-charge capacity, replacing Gilbert F. Santa Maria.

The airline has said that it aims to restore more routes and increase flight frequencies as travel restrictions ease and borders reopen, including the resumption of regular flights to multiple cities in mainland China, full regularization of flights to Australia and the commencement of new services to Israel.

The company anticipates to generate an operating income of $220 million this year and $364 million in 2023. — Arjay L. Balinbin