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PAL negotiating to sell four Bombardier planes

FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is in talks with buyers for its four non-operational Bombardier DHC 8-300 with proceeds to be used for investments in newer generation planes.

“It has been there for a while. Those are the old-generation Bombardiers. We are still negotiating with some of the buyers, but I don’t think there’s a definite timeline as of the moment,” PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Stanley K. Ng said in a chance interview last week.

Mr. Ng said the plan is to tell the aircraft as soon as possible as PAL already considers them as a dead asset.

“For me, we have to liquidate those and just invest in newer generation planes or even in digitalization,” he added.

Mr. Ng said the sale of the four planes is not expected to raise significant proceeds.

Meanwhile, the flag carrier is expecting to reactivate a total of 75 aircraft within the year.

“Before it was 98. I think there are only three to four planes that need to be reactivated. But I think next week we’ll reactivate another one. But everything will be reactivated within the year,” he said.

FIRST-QUARTER SHOWINGIn the first quarter, the airlines’ parent PAL Holdings, Inc. booked a more than four times jump in its attributable net income to P4.65 billion from P1.08 billion in 2022 as air travel recovered.

In the three months to March, PAL Holdings’ revenues rose by 78.7% to P42.21 billion from P23.62 billion last year, which it attributed to a more than double increase in the number of passengers it carried to 3.4 million.

Mr. Ng said: “Load factor is better. I think the average for international and domestic was around 80%.”

Likewise, the company recorded a 58.9% increase in its expenses to P34.68 billion from P21.83 billion booked in 2022.

When asked what is his outlook for the year, Mr. Ng said: “I think it’s positive. Right now, the outlook is positive for the rest of the year.”

“Right now, inflation is being controlled already by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. So, the inflation rate is kind of stabilizing and even the interest rates are kind of stable now. I hope that continues for the rest of the year,” he said.

“And commodity prices and fuel surcharge are going down, also making airfares more affordable for everyone,” he added.

On Friday, shares in PAL Holdings added 22 centavos or 4.17% to P5.50 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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