Emirates, ANA look into Philippine Airlines stake

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PALLoss-making Philippine Airlines is on the outlook for partnerships and new investors after majority owner San Miguel Corporation said that it wants to reduce or sell its 51 per cent stake.

According to local media reports, San Miguel, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, was in talks with All Nippon Airways (ANA) from Japan and Emirates from Dubai. Talks were reportedly held on a prospective investment and strategic partnership with each of the airlines.

A partnership could happen as early as later in 2013, San Miguel’s president Ramon Ang, who is also president of Philippines Airlines, said.

With regards to investments, a foreign airline can buy up to only 40 per cent of Philippines Airlines as per the existing constitutional restriction on foreign ownership in key industries. However, there have been recent talks in government about making amendments to the rule.

The airline, the country’s national carrier, has been struggling with losses averaging $50 million over the past years. It was hit hard be the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 and almost went bankrupt.  It gradually recovered until 2008 and got another cash injection of $500 million when San Miguel Corporation bought its stake.

Currently, the airline is embarking on a massive fleet modernisation programme, with about 100 new planes expected to be delivered over the next 5 years, of which 80 have been ordered to date.

Ang said that $1 billion investments would be needed to transform Philippines Airlines into a competitive regional airline and reach turnaround by 2014 if costs for maintenance and fuel could be gradually reduced.

One major problem remains, though: Philippines Airlines is still blacklisted by the European Union due to safety issues and cannot fly to any EU member state. A reassessment of the blacklisting is currently ongoing.

 

 

 

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Loss-making Philippine Airlines is on the outlook for partnerships and new investors after majority owner San Miguel Corporation said that it wants to reduce or sell its 51 per cent stake.

Reading Time: 1 minute

PALLoss-making Philippine Airlines is on the outlook for partnerships and new investors after majority owner San Miguel Corporation said that it wants to reduce or sell its 51 per cent stake.

According to local media reports, San Miguel, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, was in talks with All Nippon Airways (ANA) from Japan and Emirates from Dubai. Talks were reportedly held on a prospective investment and strategic partnership with each of the airlines.

A partnership could happen as early as later in 2013, San Miguel’s president Ramon Ang, who is also president of Philippines Airlines, said.

With regards to investments, a foreign airline can buy up to only 40 per cent of Philippines Airlines as per the existing constitutional restriction on foreign ownership in key industries. However, there have been recent talks in government about making amendments to the rule.

The airline, the country’s national carrier, has been struggling with losses averaging $50 million over the past years. It was hit hard be the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 and almost went bankrupt.  It gradually recovered until 2008 and got another cash injection of $500 million when San Miguel Corporation bought its stake.

Currently, the airline is embarking on a massive fleet modernisation programme, with about 100 new planes expected to be delivered over the next 5 years, of which 80 have been ordered to date.

Ang said that $1 billion investments would be needed to transform Philippines Airlines into a competitive regional airline and reach turnaround by 2014 if costs for maintenance and fuel could be gradually reduced.

One major problem remains, though: Philippines Airlines is still blacklisted by the European Union due to safety issues and cannot fly to any EU member state. A reassessment of the blacklisting is currently ongoing.

 

 

 

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