The finance minister said on Wednesday that Philippine Airlines plans to pursue court protection from creditors while seeking debt restructuring with government support as it struggles to withstand a pandemic that has battered the industry globally.

Last week the loss-making flag carrier, partly owned by Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc., notified the ministry of its plans, but gave no specifics on what kind of government assistance it needs, reporters told Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

Philippine Airlines, which reported a reduction of 2,700 jobs or one-third of its workforce last month, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Philippine Airlines’ listed operator posted 198 billion pesos ($4.12 billion) in lease and long-term debts at the end of September.

Net losses increased to 28.9 billion pesos between January and September, more than three times the 8.5 billion for the same duration last year.

As the country instituted one of the world’s strictest and longest coronavirus lockdowns, Philippine Airlines suspended operations in mid-March. Operations are steadily rising despite pandemic travel curbs.


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