BILLIONAIRE Lucio C. Tan will be the interim president of his Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) after the retirement of its long-time head.

Mr. Tan will serve as president immediately, according to his daughter Vivienne K. Tan, in an e-mailed reply to Bloomberg News’ request for confirmation that the tycoon who’s been the airline’s chairman will serve on a concurrent capacity.

Vivienne, executive vice-president of Philippine Air, said she will assist her father in the day to day operations.

“Our goal is to ensure an orderly and seamless transition of leadership,” the younger Tan said, pending the approval by the airline’s board of a successor to Jaime Bautista who retired on June 30.

Parent PAL Holdings, Inc., where ANA Holdings Inc. bought a 9.5% stake in January, has risen 13% this year.

PAL is eyeing to secure a five-star airline rating from Skytrax next year, after it was conferred the four-star title last year. It is expanding regional routes and long-haul flights with the expected delivery of additional aircraft through 2024.

The listed airline operator booked an attributable net loss of P838.17 million in the first quarter, lower by 24.3% compared to the same period last year, due to an increase in passenger volume from adding flight frequencies and new routes. — Bloomberg