PAL poised to soar to profitabilityBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is poised to soar to greater heights starting next year as it takes delivery of new planes—more than doubling the size of its current fleet.
Even without the new planes, PAL president Ramon S. Ang said the company might post a modest profit for its current fiscal year that ends next March.
“The company is already registering a profit,” Ang said at a press conference on Tuesday. He said the airline’s better performance was a result of “discipline,” leading to lower maintenance costs.
PAL’s parent firm PAL Holdings posted a P489.2-million profit in the April to June period of 2012, the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year. This was an improvement from the P475.1-million loss posted the year before.
PAL also implemented a cost-cutting program last October that involved the outsourcing of 2,600 jobs to third-party providers. Ang declined to comment on whether the outsourcing program, which is still being questioned in court, contributed to the company’s return to profitability.
At the press conference, the airline disclosed details for its expansion program. The company signed a deal with European plane manufacturer Airbus for as many as 54 new planes in the first phase of a multiyear acquisition spree. The deal is worth $7 billion, based on published list prices for the planes.
Ang, who is also president of San Miguel Corp., said the company was still in negotiations to buy 46 more aircraft to bring its total plane purchases to 100.
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