Manila, Philippines — The operator of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) saw its net loss widen in the first quarter this year from a year ago due to higher expenses.
In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, PAL Holdings Inc. said it incurred a net loss of P799.69 million in the first quarter, bigger than the P750.79 million net loss incurred in the same period last year.
Net loss attributable to equity holders reached P1.11 billion in the first quarter, also more than the P954.34 million incurred in the previous year.
For the first quarter, PAL Holdings’ revenue grew by 12.7 percent to P36.79 billion from P32.65 billion in the same period a year ago.
“The increase in revenue was attributable mainly to higher passenger revenue brought about by the growth in number of passengers carried and number of flights operated,” PAL Holdings said.
While revenue went up year-on-year in the first quarter, PAL Holdings had higher expenses in the same period.
Total expenses rose by nearly 14 percent to P36.90 billion from January to March compared to P32.39 billion a year ago.
“The increase was primarily due to higher expenses related to flying operations, passenger service, aircraft and traffic servicing, reservations and sales and general and administrative accounts offset in part by the decrease in maintenance expenses,” PAL Holdings said.
Flying operations expenses increased by 18.4 percent to P19.81 billion in the first quarter from P16.73 billion last year mainly due to higher fuel costs and lease charges.
Jet fuel, which is the airline’s biggest operating expense, also registered an increase as average fuel price per barrel rose to $88.24 this year from $76.15 last year.
Passenger service expenses also went up 19.9 percent to P3.43 billion in the January to March period this year from the previous year’s P2.86 billion mainly due to higher number of passengers carried and increase in number of flights.
More flights mounted during the quarter resulted in higher aircraft and traffic servicing cost which reached P4.81 billion this year, an 11.6 percent uptick from P4.31 billion a year ago.
Reservation and sales also posted a 12.9 percent increase to P2.63 billion as of end-March from P2.33 billion last year, primarily due to higher booking fees and credit card service fees attributable to the growth in passenger sales.
General and administrative expenses came in 8.8 percent higher at P1.48 billion in the first quarter from the previous year’s P1.36 billion due to the increase in professional and technical fees.