Philippine Airlines reports huge net loss in 2nd quarter

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) said Tuesday its net loss widened nearly ten-fold to 383.8 million pesos (6.9 million dollars) in the second quarter due to low passenger loads.

The national carrier said in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the period was a traditionally lean season for passenger traffic.

Passenger revenues "further decreased during the... quarter mainly due to the lower number of passengers carried," it said.

The carrier posted a net loss of 37.3 million pesos for the same period last year.

Operating revenues for January to September fell 8.1 percent to 9.87 billion pesos while operating expenses fell to 9.10 billion pesos from 9.33 billion pesos.

"While flying operations and depreciation expenses increased, maintenance and repairs and aircraft and traffic servicing, on the other hand, contributed to the decrease in operating expenses," it said.

PAL booked a net profit of 295 million pesos in its last fiscal year to March 2003, a turnaround from a net loss of 1.61 billion pesos the previous year.

In its fiscal first quarter, it recorded a net loss of "over 900 million pesos" as its passenger volume was adversely affected by the SARS outbreak.


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