PAL refund requests reach P15.9 billion
PAL is seeking understanding from its customers for the long processing time in the refund process, but assured them that all refund obligations would be fulfilled.
The STAR/KJ Rosales/File
PAL refund requests reach P15.9 billion
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Refund requests received by Philippine Airlines (PAL) due to flight cancellations since last March have reached over $300 million, about a fifth of which has yet to be refunded as the flag carrier continues to suffer from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PAL is seeking understanding from its customers for the long processing time in the refund process, but assured them that all refund obligations would be fulfilled.

The airline said loss of revenues has deprived the company of liquidity to make prompt refund payments.

Lockdown restrictions have also posed serious staffing and logistical limitations.

“We are doing all we can to cope with the massive deluge of refund requests that we received after the global pandemic forced us to cancel more than 60,000 PAL flights since March, affecting over 1.3 million passengers,” the airline said.

“We assure our customers of Philippine Airlines’ commitment to fulfill all refund obligations, and we sincerely apologize for the long processing time many of you have experienced,” it said.

PAL, however, said it has progressively stepped up its processing capabilities to address the system backlogs and has so far refunded about 80 percent of the more than $300 million or P15.9 billion COVID-related refund requests.

PAL said it intends to increase its flights and routes in line with the expected easing of travel and quarantine restrictions.

The airline has so far restored nearly 15 percent of its regular domestic and global network.

“We recognize that this has taken some time, and we greatly appreciate your understanding as we continue to resolve these challenges over the coming months,” PAL said.

The flag carrier saw its first semester losses balloon to P22.02 billion from last year’s P3 billion.

The airline has postponed its 2020 and 2021 aircraft deliveries, rescheduling them for delivery in 2022 to 2025

PAL said its survival is the goal, with internal cost control measures being carried out.

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