Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced Tuesday the retrenchment of 30 percent of its workforce, or about 2,300 employees.
The affected workers, combined voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchment, will remain employed until mid-March 2021, the carrier said.
“This has been an extremely difficult and painful decision. For our colleagues who are leaving, rest assured that we are committed to support you through this transition. We extend to you our deepest gratitude for your years of hard work and dedicated service and we will always cherish the ties you have established with the PAL family,” PAL president Gilbert Santa Maria said in a statement.
As the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic hit hard the global aviation industry, the retrenchment is part of the carrier’s overall recovery initiatives, PAL said.
The current number of flights being flown by PAL is still far from what it had pre-pandemic, with operations less than 30 percent of its normal weekly flights due to travel restrictions and low travel demand.
“Since March 2020, PAL has suspended capital expenditures, reduced management salaries, deferred lease payments, and slashed non-essential expenses,” it said.
Flexible working arrangements were also implemented at the height of the pandemic.
The retrenchment program was communicated to employees in October 2020.
Affected employees will continue to receive their salaries and medical benefits until the effective date of separation, PAL said.
The airline, meanwhile, assured its customers and partners that current operations would continue without disruptions.
As demand recovers, it assured to continue increasing international and domestic flights.
To recall, local carriers last year sought P8.6 billion in monthly subsidy from the government in anticipation of declining revenues as a result of the pandemic.*PNA