PAL operator trims losses in Q3

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Philippine Airlines (PAL)

THE operator of Philippine Airlines (PAL) trimmed its attributable net loss by 15% to P2.54 billion in the third quarter.

In a regulatory filing, PAL Holdings, Inc. said its revenues grew 22% to P36.94 billion during the July to September period, on the back of an “increase in number of passengers as a result of additional flight frequencies and introduction of new routes.”

However, third quarter expenses still rose 21% to P39.73 billion, due to rising jet fuel prices.

“(The growth in expenses is) mainly due to the increase in jet fuel prices, aircraft lease charges, and number of flights operated. This was offset in part by the decrease in maintenance and repairs and general and administrative expenses,” the listed firm said.

PAL’s spending for jet fuel surged 54% as the average price grew by 34% to $96.38 per barrel from only $71.7 per barrel last year. Fuel consumption also rose as it added more flights during the period. “Lease charges likewise increased by 28.0% or P1.00 billion due to additional aircraft deliveries in 2018,” it added.

For the nine-month period, PAL cut its attributable net loss by 8% to P3.921 billion from P4.263 billion in the same period last year.

PAL said its total revenue in the first three quarters of the year is 16% higher at P112.07 billion, due to increased passenger and cargo revenues.

“The increase was brought about mainly by higher passenger and cargo revenues generated during the current period as a result of the increase in number of passengers and flights operated,” it said.

Total expenses jumped by 17% to P115.30 billion during the first nine months of the year, fueled by a 27% rise in flying operations expenses to P63.26 billion.

In September, PAL was allowed by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to implement a fuel surcharge for international and domestic flights to help it recover losses from the rising price of jet fuel.

PAL filed an application with the regulator earlier this year, saying it has been taking a hit from the global trend of costlier aviation fuel.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the price of jet fuel is $89.90 per barrel as of Nov. 2, 22.8% higher from in the same period last year. — Denise A. Valdez