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Cebu Pacific suffers P9.14-B loss in H1 amid COVID woes

In the wake of the pandemic-induced free fall in the global passenger market, Cebu Air Inc. (CEB)  suffered a net loss P9.141 billion for the first half of 2020, versus earnings of P7.145 billion in the same period last year, the company reported.

Revenues plunged  to P17.3 billion from P44.7 billion in the comparative period.

The airline cancelled hundreds of flights after the government imposed a strict lockdown in the middle of March, this year, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, the government relaxed travel restrictions a little. CEB was able to operate again but only at 10 percent of its network capacity.

The airline managed to haul in P1.420-billion revenues in the second quarter but lost P7.958 billion.

By contrast, it reported P23.5-billion revenues and P3.788-billion earnings in the same period in 2019.

When Metro Manila reverted to a more strict lockdown within the first week of August as the second wave of the pandemic hit, the airline had to cancel another 300 flights.

Aviation was among the worst hit industry in the midst of the pandemic and recovery can take up to half a decade.

Demand won’t come back in the immediate future, CEB officials acknowledged.

The airline is still  discussing with plane manufacturer Airbus whether to delay or cancel its multi-billion dollar order of over 30 planes.

The orders were caught in the middle of the global demand plunge of the aviation sector in the midst of the pandemic. 

Already, CEB has sent nine of its planes for indefinite safekeeping at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage in  the desert of Alice Springs, Australia to cut costs.

The planes in storage include seven Airbus A321CEOs and two  A330s. 

The airline has to operate at 50 per cent capacity in order to be sustainable for the longer term,  Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Distribution, told reporters earlier.

Prior to the reimposition of MECQ, CEB rotated about half of its fleet of 75 planes to serve 40 to 50 flights daily.

Before the pandemic, CEB was mounting 400 to 450 flights per day.

“We do not know how long this will be drawn out,” the VP conceded.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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