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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Travel restrictions, losses push PAL to cut work force

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LEGACY carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is cutting its work force by about a third, as the airline could no longer sustain the costs associated with its limited operations due to the pandemic, its president said on Tuesday.

Gilbert F. Sta. Maria, the company’s president, said the work force reduction program covers 2,300 employees, or about 30 percent of the airline’s total work force. This, he said, includes voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchment.

Affected personnel will continue to be employed until mid-March.

“This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision. For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition,” Sta. Maria said.

He noted that prior to the retrenchment, PAL chose to implement temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to hold off job cuts as long as possible and ensure that its employees continued to receive salaries and benefits, particularly medical benefits, during the height of the pandemic.

The retrenchment program, which was communicated to employees as early as October 2020, was carried out after a comprehensive system-wide review process.

Sta. Maria said this initiative “is part of the company’s overall recovery initiatives amid the ongoing pandemic that has massively affected the global airline industry.”

PAL currently operates at less than 30 percent of its normal pre-pandemic capacity.

Sta. Maria noted that current operations will continue without disruptions and that the airline will “continue to gradually increase international and domestic flights as demand recovers.”

PAL Holdings Inc. recorded a comprehensive loss of P29.03 billion during the first three quarters of 2020, more than three times larger than its P7.86 billion loss the year prior, as the pandemic significantly reduced the demand for its passenger and ancillary services.

Image credits: Thor Jorgen Udvang | Dreamstime.com

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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