Cebu Pacific still bleeding with P12B net loss amid soaring expenses

The Gokongwei family’s airline unit Cebu Air remained in the red with a net loss of P12.05 billion from January to September as expenses surged.

The loss, however, was 45.2 percent lower than the P22 billion loss incurred in the same period last year as revenues surged four-fold to P37.5 billion on higher passenger volume and improved cargo services and flight activities with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Cebu Air restored almost hit its pre-pandemic system-wide capacity following the continuous ramp-up of its domestic and international routes.

Passenger revenues skyrocketed by 572.5 percent to P22.48 billion as the number of people the budget carrier transported surged 450.8 percent from 1.9 million to 10.4 million largely due to the higher number of flights which jumped 255.9 percent.

Seat load factor increased by 18.6 points from 55.8 percent to 74.4 percent.

An increase in average fares by 22.1 percent to P2,154 from P1,764 for the same period last year also contributed to the increase in passenger revenues.

Cargo revenues grew 31.7 percent to P5.615 billion, primarily driven by the 19.1 percent jump in cargo kilograms flown from 83 million to 98.9 million, coupled with the increase in cargo yield by 10.6 percent to P56.79.

Operating expenses surged 74.1 percent to P48.73 billion as flying operations costs increased by P15.049 billion or 333.5 percent to P19.56 billion. This was largely due to higher fuel consumption by 186.6 percent in line with the increased flight activity.

The weakening of the Philippine peso against the US dollar to an average of P53.55 per US dollar also contributed to higher fuel costs.

Cebu Air booked foreign exchange losses of P3.86 billion due to the weakening of the peso against the US dollar to P58.63.