PAL Holdings Inc., the parent firm of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), said net income in the first half grew tenfold to P5.86 billion from P560.2 million a year ago on higher passenger volumes and the introduction of new routes.
In a statement, PAL said the 37 percent increase in the number of passengers mainly for the Americas, Australia, Japan and Middle East routes, coupled with the interlining arrangement with PAL Express in the domestic sector, contributed to the favorable revenue performance during the period.
Total revenue for the first half reached P55.95 billion, up 14.3 percent from the same period last year, according to its financial report posted on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) website.
Total operating expenses for the six months stood at P50.6 billion, up from P47.97 billion a year ago, due to higher expenses related to maintenance, passenger service, reservation and sales and general and administrative offset by the reduction in flying operations.
For the second quarter alone, PAL said total revenue reached P28.08 billion, 2.9 percent higher than last year’s comparative P27.98 billion, resulting in net income of P2.08 billion from P1.49 billion in the same quarter last year.
Earnings in the period were boosted by the introduction of new routes such as New York via Vancouver, Dubai, Jinjiang, and Osaka and Nagoya originating from Cebu, it said.
Increased flight frequencies to Honolulu, Haneda in Japan, and Dammam and Abu Dhabi in Middle East and the enhanced interlining arrangement of PAL with Air Philippines in the domestic operations also contributed to the growth in revenues, it said.
PAL earlier announced the launch of non-stop flights between Cebu and Los Angeles beginning March 15, 2016 as part of the expansion of its route operations to the United States.
The start of the new service will commence on a milestone date–PAL’s 75th founding anniversary.
The thrice weekly service will utilize the 254-seater bi-class Airbus A340 with 36 lie-flat seats on business class and 218 seats on regular economy.
“Our customers in the Visayas and Mindanao have long clamored for direct flights between Cebu and the US due to the travel convenience this will bring. One can simply take a short hop to Cebu from any point in the Visayas and Mindanao and connect to Los Angeles, instead of flying all the way to Manila,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime J. Bautista explained.
The flag carrier currently operates 35 weekly flights to mainland USA and two US territories combined.
From Manila, PAL operates 11 weekly flights to Los Angeles, 10 weekly flights to San Francisco and four weekly flights to New York. PAL has five weekly flights each to Guam and Honolulu.
The new US service from Cebu will bring to 38 the total number of frequencies to the United States per week.
As well, the new service to the US brings to 34 the total number of international flights operating out of Mactan International Airport, considered a major hub next to the NAIA terminals in Manila.
PAL Cebu’s international operations consist of thrice weekly flights to Nagoya, daily flights to Osaka and Seoul as well as 14 weekly flights to Narita.
The airline’s domestic operations between Cebu and Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Iloilo, Tacloban and Manila total 95 flights a week.