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PAL retrenches over 2,300 employees

Aviation Updates Philippines – National flag carrier Philippine Airlines on Tuesday announced the implementation of a company-wide workforce reduction program, affecting about 2,300 employees or around 30 percent of its workforce. 

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The total number includes both voluntary separations and involuntary retrenchments. The affected employees will continue to be employed and will receive their salaries and medical benefits until mid-March 2021.

The retrenchment program is part of large-scale restructuring and recovery initiatives at Philippine Airlines to ensure the continuity of operations.

“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,” said PAL President Gilbert F. Santa Maria.

PAL revealed plans for a round of workforce reductions in the fourth quarter of 2020, as the aviation industry continues to suffer from the unpleasant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an October 2020 report, PAL said redundancies were "inevitable" due to the downturn in air travel.

Prior to the retrenchment, PAL opted to implement temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements to avoid job reductions. The airline has also suspended capital expenditures, reduced management salaries, deferred lease payments, and slashed non-essential expenses.

Moreover, the flag carrier said affected employees will receive support from the airline, including outplacement assistance and employability initiatives to help ease the transition.

PAL has restarted only 30 percent of its number of weekly flights pre-pandemic, given the relatively low demand for air travel brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the flag carrier reassures its customers that it would gradually open up more flights, and will continue without disruptions.

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