Bilyonaryo Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines is in free fall as it reportedly spilled P1 billion a month in red ink in 2019.
According to industry sources, PAL is expected to lose P12 billion in 2019 or triple the P4.33 billion loss it suffered in 2018.
This meant PAL bled in three months what it lost for the entire 2018.
PAL’s losses were pegged at only P8 billion as of the first nine months of last year.
Management attributed the lossee to the drop in passenger and cargo revenues and higher debt expenses.
PAL’s situation went from bad to worse in June 2019 when 13-year president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista was forced to retire and 20-year treasurer and EVP Stewart Lim quit.
Tan’s daughter, Vivienne, took on a bigger role starting that month in the airline – officer-in-charge and concurrent executive vice president, treasurer and chief administration officer.
In October 2019, Vivienne’s brother, PAL vice chairman Bong, was appointed president of PAL Holdings, the airline’s controlling investor. Bong, however, died a month later after his takeover. The 85-year old Tan took on his son’s vacant seat as PAL Holdings president concurrent with his post as PAL chair.