PAL embarks on digital shift


    The new management at Philippines Airlines (PAL) will pursue digital transformation to achieve profitability.

    Gilbert Santa Maria, PAL president and chief operating officer, said he presented last Friday, October 4, a strategic business plan to turn around the company.

    “We will work hard to achieve the objectives of the business plan,” Santa Maria said.

    Santa Maria said the flag carrier will embark on digital transformation initiatives to ensure the airline’s needs are met by the most ideal technology solutions, a move seen to pave the way for the company’s right-sizing and return to profitability.

    Also on Friday, Vivienne Tan, daughter of PAL chairman Lucio Tan, joined the airline’s 15-man board, replacing Cirilo Noel.

    “With this added responsibility, I shall continue to be focused in steering the company to profitability,” said Tan, concurrent PAL executive vice president for treasury, treasurer and chief administrative officer.

    In the last three months, Tan, together with. Santa Maria and his team, has been mapping out strategies to reduce costs, enhance customer experience and increase revenues.

    The company said the next few months will be crucial as the new PAL management introduces major changes in the 78-year old airline.

    Lucio Tan Jr., PAL vice chairman, earlier said the company will pursue the improvement of IT services to increase ticket sales online.

    Currently, online sales account for less than 20 percent of ticket sales compared with 50 percent of other airlines.

    PAL tapped German firm Lufthansa Consulting to help the company achieve profitability hopefully by next year, according to Tan Jr..

    The airline reported a comprehensive net loss of P3 billion in January to June this year, a 355-percent increase from last year’s comprehensive net loss of P661.56 million due to higher expenses.

    Consolidated revenues during the period grew 8.6 percent to P81.25 billion from last year’s P74.85 billion driven by increase in passenger and ancillary revenues.

    The new PAL board of directors is now composed of the following: Lucio Tan as chairman and chief executive officer, Lucio Tan Jr. ; Santa Maria, Rowena Chua, Florentino Herrera III, Estelito Mendoza, Vivienne Tan, Carmen Tan, Michael Tan, Ryuhei Maeda, Johnip Cua, Manuel Lazaro, Amando Tetangco, Jr., Samuel Uy, and Gregorio Yu as board members.
    During the same meeting, the PAL Board accepted the resignation of senior officers Angelito Alvarez and Siegfred Mison and Noel.