PAL Holdings, the parent company of Philippine Airlines, posted a PHP787 million (US$17.8m) in 2014 – its first full-year profit in four years.
In a report filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, PAL Holdings said the result represented a significant turnaround from the PHP9.1 billion loss incurred in the last nine months of 2013. Full-year comparisons were not available as the company recently shifted its accounting period from a fiscal year basis to a calendar year.
The annual profit was PAL Holdings’ first since 2010-2011, when it generated an annual income of PHP3.1bn. Since then, the company has grappled with a series of problems, including industrial unrest, high fuel prices and natural disasters. These resulted in combined losses of PHP20.6bn from 2011 to 2013.
The improvement in 2014 was driven by the strong operating performance of Philippine Airlines. The national carrier saw its traffic increase to 9.6m passengers last year, driving revenues to PHP100.9bn, including PHP81.8bn from passenger operations. The airline’s average load factor last year was 71.4%.
Despite falling oil prices, jet fuel remained PAL Holdings’ single biggest expense in 2014, at PHP38.8bn.
“Our encouraging performance in 2014 signals that PAL has now turned the corner,” said Jaime Bautista, president of PAL Holdings and Philippine Airlines.
“We need to consolidate and build on these gains to strengthen the foundation for future growth, aware that we operate in a very dynamic environment. As always, we remain focused on our goal of transforming PAL into the airline of choice in all markets it serves.”
PAL was also boosted in 2014 by the easing of restrictions on Philippine-based airlines by US aviation authorities. This enabled it to launch a new service to New York in March 2015.