CEBU Air, Inc., the listed operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific, saw its attributable net loss for the first three months of the year widen to P7.61 billion from a loss of P7.30 billion in the same period a year earlier, its quarterly report showed.

The company’s revenues for the period reached P6.71 billion, 148% higher than the P2.71 billion generated in the same period in 2021.

“This was driven by passenger operations which grew 256% to P3.16 billion from P887 million in the same period last year. Ancillary and cargo revenues, likewise, increased 239% and 40% year on year, respectively,” the company said in its report.

Operating expenses increased by 26% year on year, primarily as a result of higher fuel expenses caused by the rise in jet fuel prices.

In spite of this, the company said that operating loss narrowed by 22% to P5.34 billion in the first three months from P6.82 billion previously.

At the same time, Cebu Air incurred P2.52 billion in non-core losses, mainly due to forex translation of dollar denominated loans and unrealized mark to market losses from the derivative value of its convertible bonds.

As a result, the company’s net loss widened by 4% to P7.61 billion, it noted.

The airline had 16,521 flights in the first three months of the year, 128% higher versus last year.

Its passenger count jumped by 272% to 2.05 million during the period.

“Cargo operations sustained its growth, as cargo rose 36% to 34.2 million kilograms from last year,” Cebu Air noted.

The company also said that starting March, “the path toward recovery became clearer as vaccinations rates increased, coronavirus cases declined, alert levels de-escalated, and local government units simplified travel requirements.”

“For the rest of 2022, Cebu Pacific sees a better business outlook driven by domestic recovery and reopenings of international destinations. However, it remains cautious of the risks presented by increasing jet fuel prices and interest rates and depreciation of the Philippine peso versus US dollar. It will continue to invest in the modernization of its fleet and will remain committed to providing affordable and accessible air transport services for all,” Cebu Air added.

Cebu Air shares closed 2.22% lower at P44 apiece on Thursday. — Arjay L. Balinbin