FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is expected to lay off 2,300 jobs in mid-March as the airline weathers the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on travel demand.
The cuts represent about 30% of its workforce, including both voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchment, the company announced on Tuesday, February 2.
“This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision. For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition,” PAL President Gilbert Santa Maria said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
PAL first announced its retrenchment program in October 2020 amid the pandemic.
“Prior to the retrenchment, PAL chose to implement temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to hold off job cuts as long as possible…,” the airline said.
It added that it also ensured that its employees continued to receive salaries and benefits, particularly medical benefits, during the height of the pandemic.
From January to September last year, PAL booked financial losses worth P29.03 billion.
PAL owner Lucio Tan provided around P6 billion in capital to the airline to keep it afloat. The airline said it will continue to gradually increase international and domestic flights as demand recovers.
Budget carriers Cebu Pacific and AirAsia also retrenched employees due to the pandemic.