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Business

PAL to expand cargo segment

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
PAL to expand cargo segment
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna yesterday said the airline wants to explore its opportunities in the freight business to capture the growing demand for cargo services.
The STAR / KJ Rosales / File

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) plans to expand its cargo segment as it eyes to reinforce its position as the only domestic airline with a full service network.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna yesterday said the airline wants to explore its opportunities in the freight business to capture the growing demand for cargo services.

With the ongoing pandemic, PAL hopes to secure agreements to airlift health needs, particularly COVID-19 vaccines and medical equipment, and urgent shipments.

“We will sustain and build up our cargo business to tap more air freight market opportunities and keep supply chains moving to meet specific transport needs. PAL is not just a passenger airline, we are a cargo carrier, too,” Villaluna told The STAR.

PAL’s revenue tripled to P97.77 billion as of September from P32.16 billion a year ago, carried mainly by the recovery in passenger bookings. But cargo income also jumped by a fifth to P10.74 billion during the period.

“Air cargo continues to grow, increasing by 20.6 percent from last year’s same period,” PAL said in its financial statement.

Likewise, Villaluna said PAL wants to restore its flights to mainland China as soon as Beijing lifts its borders for leisure travel.

The airline owned by taipan Lucio Tan also eyes to enter into additional codeshare and interline agreements to provide its passengers with access to new overseas connections.

PAL will likewise rely on the recovery of tourist markets where the Philippines gets most of its guests. Villaluna said the airline will also work with the government in servicing the pent-up demand for air travel here and abroad.

“We are sustaining flights to key tourist markets. We fly direct to five of six top tourist markets of the Philippines, namely, the US, South Korea, Australia, Canada and Japan,” Villaluna said.

“Our efforts to promote tourist travel to and within the Philippines caters to the pent-up demand for revenge travel and will help revive Philippine tourism and rev up the economy,” she added.

PAL hopes to book a net income of P10 billion to end 2022 on a high note, reversing its fortunes from last year when it had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to clear at least $2 billion in outstanding debt.

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