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PAL refunds hit P15.9-billion amid COVID-19 cancellations

Aviation Updates Philippines – On Saturday, national flag carrier Philippine Airlines said it has already refunded 80 percent of the Php15.9 billion worth of tickets to affected passengers due to thousands of canceled flights amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement posted on its website, PAL said the airline is "...doing all we can to cope with the massive deluge of refund requests." Since March, the flag carrier has seen the cancellation of 60,000 of its domestic and international flights, affecting over 1.3 million passengers.

"The loss of revenues deprived us of liquidity to make prompt refund payments, even as lockdown restrictions posed serious staffing and logistical limitations."

The airline added: "However, we have progressively stepped up our processing capabilities to address the system backlogs. We have so far refunded about 80% of the more than US$300 million (PHP15.9 billion) COVID-related refund requests."

The flag carrier continues to reassure PAL passengers of their commitment to fulfill refund obligations, although the process might take longer than expected due to the high volume of requests. 

"We recognize that this has taken some time, and we greatly appreciate your understanding as we continue to resolve these challenges over the coming months."

According to PAL, the company has already restored around 15 percent of its total domestic and international route network. At the same time, more flights are being planned to be relaunched shortly.

During the second quarter of 2020, PAL faced an operational standstill because of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, forcing the cancellation of all domestic flights and limiting the number of international flights.

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