After flights and travel plans were canceled due to the Philippines’ lockdown, which is in its sixth month, airlines were faced with the financial burden of zero income due to the pandemic and refunding thousands of tickets.
Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier, has received a whopping total of P15.9 billion ($329 million) in refund requests, says Bloomberg. Of this amount, the carrier has refunded 80 percent to customers, which equates to roughly P12 billion in refunded tickets.
“The loss of revenues deprived us of liquidity to make prompt refund payments, even as lockdown restrictions posed serious staffing and logistical limitations,” said a PAL statement, as per Bloomberg.
Just last week, Cebu Pacific disclosed that it had refunded over P2 billion to customers, which represents just 50 percent of ticket refund requests.
Both airlines were grounded at the height of the pandemic, and while airspace travel was permitted once both, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines are operating at less than 15 percent capacity.
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.