On Monday, national flag carrier Philippine Airlines said it has started to request employees to apply for voluntary separation. The airline has continued its recovery process amid the COVID-19 economic impact.

According to PAL, the first stage of the "manpower reduction initiative" might affect up to 35 percent of its 7,000-strong workforce. The reduction, a combination of involuntary and voluntary measures, will take effect in the fourth quarter of 2020.

"The retrenchment is part of a larger restructuring and recovery plan as the flag carrier rebuilds its domestic and international network amid the global pandemic," PAL said in a statement.

On the other hand, the company has also adopted ways to keep jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, such as temporary furloughs and flexible working arrangements. However, PAL said the downturn in air travel made job redundancies "inevitable."

Since the onslaught of the outbreak, PAL has restarted only 15 percent of its daily number of flights than the figures pre-pandemic. Among other airlines, PAL has struggled to maintain profitability due to the sharp decline of business and leisure air travel volume amid lockdowns and quarantine restrictions.

Nowadays, airlines are jumping in various ways to maximize profit, such as operating all-cargo flights and charter services on their passenger aircraft. PAL has been optimizing its route network to cope with the country's still relatively high cargo demand.


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