Philippine Airlines cutting 30% of workforce

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(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this onePhilippine Airlines (PAL) said Tuesday (2 February) that it was cutting about 2,300 employees, representing about 30 percent of the airline’s workforce, by mid-March. The cuts include both voluntary separations and involuntary firings, the airline said and are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the aviation industry worldwide.

PAL President Gilbert Santa Maria. (PHOTO: PAL)

“This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision,” said PAL President Gilbert Santa Maria. “For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition. We extend to you our deepest gratitude for your years of hard work and dedicated service, and we will always cherish the ties you have established with the PAL family.”

Prior to the latest firings, PAL used temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to hold off job cuts and ensure that employees continued to receive salaries and benefits, particularly medical benefits, during the height of the pandemic.

PAL said air travel was “still far from pre-pandemic levels”, adding the airline was currently operating less than 30 percent of its normal pre-pandemic number of weekly flights. Since March 2020, PAL has suspended capital expenditures, reduced management salaries, deferred lease payments and slashed non-essential expenses.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Singapore. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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