Philippine Airlines cuts flights, ground crew

Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines said Saturday it would temporarily slash flight frequencies over the next two months as part of a cost-saving programme that would also eliminate 2,600 jobs.

Eleven flights to Hong Kong, Bangkok, New Delhi, Macau, Singapore, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Guam, Sydney, Melbourne and Incheon would be affected from October 1, or 12 percent of the international total, a PAL statement said.

Thirty percent of local flights would be suspended as catering, ground handling and call centre reservations are farmed out to third-party service providers, PAL spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna said.

"These measures will help alleviate the inevitable minor kinks in PAL's service as we go though this difficult but necessary transition period."

Normal service would resume on varying dates in October and November, she added.

The loss-making carrier earlier announced it would eliminate 2,600 ground crew posts on September 30, saving the carrier about $15 million in operating costs.

It said this would help it save the jobs of the remaining 4,000-plus staff.

PAL, Asia's oldest airline, suffered a net loss of $10.6 million for the three months to June.

The airline had posted a $31.6 million net profit in the same period last year, on the way to $72.5 million earnings in the 12 months to March, which was a turnaround from a $14.4 million loss in its previous fiscal year.

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