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... as Gokongwei airline posts bigger loss in Q1

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - May 11, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific saw losses widen in the first quarter as flight restrictions continued to dampen revenues.

In a stock exchange filing, Cebu Pacific operator Cebu Air Inc. said net loss for the three months ending March hit P7.3 billion, 517 percent higher than the P1.18 billion net loss sustained in the same period last year.

Revenues fell by 83 percent to P2.71 billion from last year’s P15.91 billion, attributed to the persisting impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The disruption in the group’s operations due to the repercussions brought about by the COVID-19 crisis had a negative impact on its financial condition and results of operations during the period,” Cebu Air said.

“The group gradually resumed more regular services. Currently though, it is still far behind its normal activity level due to ongoing flight restrictions and weak demand for travel,” it said.

Passenger revenues plunged by 92 percent year-on-year to P10.50 billion in the first quarter as passenger volume plummeted to 500,000 from 4.4 million in the same three-month period last year.

Cebu Air said the 87.5 percent decline in passenger volume was brought about by lower number of flights, along with a 28.2-percentage point drop in seat load factor to 53.2 percent.

Also contributing to lower revenues during the period was the 37.5 percent reduction in average fares, according to the budget carrier.

Cebu Air’s cargo revenues, meanwhile, grew by 30.3 percent year-on-year to P1.32 billion, driven by higher yield from chartered cargo services.

“The group anticipates that the COVID-19 global pandemic will have a material impact on its liquidity,” Cebu Air said.

“However, the group is confident on its ability to raise cash for liquidity needs even if there were unprecedented losses incurred as a result of an expected slow recovery from this crisis,” it said.

As of end-March, Cebu Air said it retains a strong balance sheet and equity position.

“The group believes that it remains a resilient airline despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 outbreak,” the company said.

Cebu Air, as of the end of the first quarter, has 13 aircraft parked for storage at Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage in Alice Springs, Australia as part of its cost-cutting measures amid the pandemic.

Cebu Pacific operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines, covering 32 destinations, on top of its six international destinations.

Its 74-strong fleet, one of the youngest in the world, includes two dedicated ATR freighters and one A330 freighter.

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