Next 6 months tough for PAL

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    Philippine Airlines (PAL) sees the next six to seven months of the year as very tough for the carrier as it sees full recovery of the entire industry to happen only in 2023.

    Jose Enrique Perez de Tagle, vice president for corporate communications of PAL in a webinar, said an internal survey showed the airline will not see a new normal yet this year even as quarantines are slowly eased.

    Perez de Tagle said December 2020 and beyond can be described as “struggling and restoration stage” especially once the travel restrictions are lifted.

    “They maybe we will have a stable platform to offer regular services,” he added.

    He said some semblance of normalcy may start at the earliest by January when the airline can transition to selling domestic and international services to the world.

    “But even that takes time because as an industry we can reach full recovery by 2023,” Perez de Tagle said.

    He said between now and the end of the year, PAL will gear up for the new normal while keeping passengers well informed to build confidence.

    PAL will also boost domestic tourism and prepare for international tourism at this time.

    While the airline has resumed operations for certain destinations, these are limited to essential travel like ferrying stranded individuals or those with official business.

    The stabilization stage, PAL said, starts by January where the airline starts to start to grow back volumes

    But he said during the quarantines that cancelled 30,000 flights and affected five million passengers, airlines have not been sleeping.

    PAL has been bringing essentials through cargo flights and sending stranded individuals home through special flights.

    It mounted 345 cargo flights and and ferried 11,721 passengers in 102 flights to international destinations.

    Perez de Tagle said PAL would not be offering promotional fares.

    It will not also increase its fares.

    “We are not getting back in that stage where we are offering leisure travel options for our passengers. Definitely we will have to be agile no matter how you put it. For example,…we may have to operate more cargo flights. So we have to repurpose some of our aircraft to fly cargo other than just passengers,” he said.

    He added: “Demand we’ll come back maybe not roaring back, and we will be there to serve it.”

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