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In a year of deep restructuring and debt-shedding, Philippine Airlines has turned a loss into a solid in 2021. The carrier reported a Ps 60.6 billion net profit after tax, compared to a Ps 73.1 billion loss in the previous year, it reported on April 6. Philippine Airlines returns to profit after restructuring.

PAL Holdings presented only limited details of its financial results. Gross revenues were up to Rs 58.7 billion, up from Rs 553 billion in 2020. Expenses were down to Rs 62.8 billion from Rs 81.8 billion. Net profit margin improved to 1.03 from -1.32.

The restructuring plan has resulted in a significant reduction in Philippines’ liabilities from Rs 296 billion to Rs192.2 billion. Its debt to equity ratio improved from -2.88 to 73.82. Philippine exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, having filed for voluntary protection with the New York Southern District Court only in September.

A key ingredient of the restructuring has been taking out $2.0 billion in structural costs from the balance sheet, of which a large part has been coming from a 25 percent reduction of the fleet to seventy aircraft. Philippine Airlines returned ten aircraft to lessors last year and has scheduled another nine this year. In September, it said that deliveries of thirteen Airbus A321neo’s have been pushed back from 2021-2025 to 2026-2030.

The leaner Philippine Airlines is “cautiously optimistic” about 2022 as it expects to benefit from the opening up of air travel in the Asia Pacific region, which has been closed for almost two years since the start of the pandemic. As IATA reported on Wednesday, February traffic in the region has been up 144.4 percent over the same month last year after an increase of 125.8 percent witnessed in January. 

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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