Philippine Airlines retrenches 300 staff due to coronavirus outbreak

Philippine Airlines said the streamlining will strengthen the company in the wake of losses sustained in 2019, aggravated by the ongoing travel restrictions and flight suspensions to areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Philippine Airlines said the streamlining will strengthen the company in the wake of losses sustained in 2019, aggravated by the ongoing travel restrictions and flight suspensions to areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak.PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (XINHUA) - Philippine Airlines (PAL) said on Friday (Feb 28) that it has laid off 300 ground-based and management staff as part of a business restructuring plan to manage its losses sustained from travel restrictions to coronavirus-stricken destinations.

The Philippines' largest airline said it completed implementing on Friday "voluntary separation initiative for long-serving employees and a retrenchment process". The move is "to increase revenues and reduce costs", it added.

"Affected employees will receive appropriate separation benefits, additional trip pass privileges, and assistance in the form of career counselling and outplacement support," PAL said.

The airline said "the streamlining will strengthen the company in the wake of losses sustained in 2019, aggravated by the ongoing travel restrictions and flight suspensions to areas affected by Covid-19".

"Other initiatives include revenue generation from an optimised route network and new ancillary products, more aggressive cost-management efforts, and investment in digital technology," it said.

PAL was experiencing an expanding loss in 2019. PAL Holdings, the parent firm of PAL, earlier told the Philippine Stock Exchange that its total comprehensive loss in first nine months of 2019 expanded by 139.2 per cent to 7.86 billion pesos (S$215 million) from 3.29 billion pesos in the same period of 2018.