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Philippine Airlines income jumps more than six-fold

[MANILA] Once-troubled flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Thursday announced a 560 per cent jump in its "comprehensive income" for 2015, signalling a remarkable recovery after a huge loss in the fiscal year 2013.

Low fuel prices and an increase in destinations and aircraft numbers boosted "comprehensive income" to US$134.42 million for the period, the airline said in a statement.

Comprehensive income refers to the airline's net profit and other sources of income, a PAL statement said. It did not provide a specific breakdown.

"Carefully calibrated route and fleet expansion programmes were augmented by low fuel prices that enabled us to tap the industry's growth momentum," the statement quoted PAL president Jaime Bautista as saying.

PAL swung into an US$20.38 million "comprehensive income" in fiscal year 2014 from an US$229.71 million loss in 2013, it said.

PAL switched from an April-March fiscal year in 2015 to one following the calendar year of January to December, the airline added.

The previous three years had been difficult for PAL as it grappled with industrial unrest, surging fuel prices, major natural disasters in key international and domestic markets, and robust competition.

In 2011 it cut 12 per cent of its international flights, 30 per cent of domestic flights and laid off nearly 40 per cent of its staff to reduce costs.

PAL, which boasts a 76-plane fleet, has recently expanded its international flight destinations to include New York, Jinjiang, China and Cairns, Australia, as well as Auckland and Port Moresby, the airline said.

Operating expenses last year only slightly increased to US$2.237 billion, the airline added.