Airline Cebu Pacific logs P22.2B net loss in 2020

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BUDGET carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, reported a P22.2 billion net loss for full year 2020, following the heavy impact of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis.

The Gokongwei-led company said the performance of the airline was severely affected by the decreased passenger confidence and heightened travel restrictions. For 2020, the airline flew five million passengers, 78 percent lower than 2019; and a total of 41,804 flights, 71 percent lower than 2019.

Pre-Covid, CEB said it flew about 400 flights a day. This growth was primarily domestic-driven and supplemented by cargo operations, which performed better than expected.

CEB’s revenue last year stood at P22.6 billion, which is 73 percent lower than 2019. Cargo operations contributed P5.4 billion or 24 percent of CEB’s total revenues in 2020, as cargo freighter and charter flights contributed to higher yield.

The airline’s total operating expenses reduced by 40 percent to P43.4 billion. Fuel showed the steepest decline, as fewer flights were coupled with lower fuel cost. Other operating expenses likewise reduced as CEB continues its rigorous cost reduction initiatives, including the right-sizing of its network, fleet and manpower, while improving operational efficiencies through various digitalization efforts.

CEB closed 2020 with an operating loss of P20.77 billion, and negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring or rent costs of P932 million.

Meanwhile, CEB said it is unique among its peers as it entered the coronavirus pandemic with a historically strong ability to generate free cash flow.

End-2019, its net debt-to-equity ratio was 1.26x. With its fleet of 74 aircraft, CEB had total assets of P128.46 billion by the end of 2020, and its net debt-to-equity ratio was still at a strong 3.17x, enough to support the airline in this challenging environment. (KOC with PR)