PHILIPPINE Airlines, Inc. (PAL) upwardly revised its 2022 topline target to $2.6 billion after reaching its previous $2-billion revenue goal as early as October.

“We exceeded our target already so it’s quite good. Of course, we forecast another target, for the year it’s $2.6-billion revenue,” PAL Holdings, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Stanley K. Ng said on the sidelines of a Management Association of the Philippines event last week.

PAL Holdings is the listed company that operates Philippine Airlines, the country’s flag carrier.

“If I remember correctly, [considering] we have three more months to go, [we are at] around $2 billion already,” Mr. Ng said, referring to Philippine Airlines’ total revenue by the month of October.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ng said that he expects a full recovery in domestic sales and 70% of pre-pandemic levels in international sales by December.

“This year has been strong. In domestic, we’re already about 90% [of pre-pandemic level]. In December, we are approaching 100% of pre-pandemic level in domestic travels,” Mr. Ng said.

For international sales, Mr. Ng said that the airline is already at 60% of its pre-pandemic level.

“By December it’s going to be around 70% already. China is about 20% of our market so that’s why we still can’t go back to 100% of pre-pandemic,” Mr. Ng said.

In the first half of this year, the carrier generated $1.1 billion in revenues representing a 258% growth in passenger revenues and 31% growth in cargo revenues from the same period last year.

Destinations such as New Zealand, London, and Sapporo are still those not being served by the flag carrier after returning more than 20 aircraft to its lessor.

“We don’t have that [many] airplanes to fly to those destinations right now,” Mr. Ng said.

He added that if things improve for the airline, it expects to start servicing the three destinations by next year.

However, more than concerns about adding more planes, Philippine Airlines is putting more focus on re-fleeting to provide better customer experience, Mr. Ng said.

“Some of our [planes] are getting a little bit old in terms of aesthetic but in terms of engines and safety it’s perfect but of course, people right now are more demanding of the seats,” Mr. Ng said.

As a first step, Mr. Ng said that the airline has started by improving the food it serves by partnering with local chefs to introduce Filipino cuisine to the world.

“Here and there if we can do it, we’ve been doing it already. But the metal, the hardware, the aircraft it will take some time but we are in the process of deciding also,” Mr. Ng said about the airline’s target to grow back its fleet. — Justine Irish D. Tabile