The Daily Manila Shimbun


PAL implementing new retrenchment program set within fourth quarter

October 6, 2020

Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced  Monday night it is implementing a new round of manpower reduction as  travel restrictions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic severely affected its operations.

The Lucio Tan-led airline said it  begun to call on employees to apply for voluntary separation, the first stage of an initiative that may affect up to 35 percent of more than 7,000 personnel or 2,700 workers.

“The retrenchment is part of a larger restructuring and recovery plan as the flag carrier rebuilds its domestic and international network amid the global pandemic,” PAL said.

PAL said the retrenchment program will combine voluntary and involuntary measures, to be carried out within the fourth quarter of 2020.

Last February, PAL laid off about 300 employees due to continued losses, which was aggravated by the ongoing travel restrictions and flight suspensions to areas affected by COVID-19.

Since March 2020, PAL has suspended capital expenditures, adopted a skeletal work force, reduced management salaries and slashed non-essential expenses to control costs.

PAL added that its shareholders have infused capital and provided funding to sustain the airline's liquidity.

“At the height of the pandemic, PAL chose to implement temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to maintain jobs as long as possible,” PAL said.

“ However, the collapse in travel demand and persistent travel restrictions on most global and domestic routes have made retrenchment inevitable, with PAL currently operating less than 15 percent of its normal number of daily flights after eight months of lockdowns,” it added. DMS