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Philippine Airlines plans court protection as pandemic hits finances

Philippine Airlines, which last month announced a reduction of 2,700 jobs, or a third of its workforce. PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

Philippine Airlines plans to seek court protection from creditors while it pursues debt restructuring with government help, the finance minister said on Wednesday, as it fights to survive a pandemic that has battered the industry globally.

The loss-making flag carrier, partly owned by Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc., informed the ministry of its plans last week but gave no details as to what kind of government assistance it needs, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters.

Philippine Airlines, which last month announced a reduction of 2,700 jobs, or a third of its workforce, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

As of end-September, the listed operator of Philippine Airlines reported 198 billion pesos ($4.12 billion) in lease and long-term debts.

Net losses in January to September surged to 28.9 billion pesos, more than three times the 8.5 billion for the same period of last year.

Philippine Airlines halted operations in mid-March as the country imposed one of the world’s strictest and longest coronavirus lockdowns. It is slowly increasing operations amid pandemic travel curbs. — Reuters

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