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Philippine Airlines exits US bankruptcy

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine Airlines has said it has emerged from bankruptcy after a United States (US) court approved its plan to slash up to USD2 billion in debt and obtain additional capital.

The national carrier of the Philippines had filed for bankruptcy in the US in September, seeking relief from creditors as it tried to survive the devastation unleashed on the airline industry by the coronavirus pandemic.

Its court-approved reorganisation plan includes a USD2-billion debt reduction and additional liquidity of USD505 million from its main shareholder, PAL said in a statement on Friday. It also has the option to obtain up to USD150 million in additional financing from new investors.

“PAL has streamlined operations with a reorganised fleet and is now better capitalised for future growth,” the airline added.

Air travel in the Philippines collapsed by more than 75 per cent in 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus, according to government data. From 60 million domestic and international passengers in 2019, traffic plunged to just over 13 million in 2020.

Tail sections of a Philippines Airline aircraft. PHOTO: AFP
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