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February 12, 2009

Philippine flag-carrier sees loss on fuel hedges

Philippine Airlines expects to post a net loss for the fiscal year ending March 31 on costly fuel hedges and high fuel prices.

"We already reported a six-months' loss. For the third quarter we will lose again but hopefully in the last quarter we will be profitable or break even, that is our projection," Jaime Bautista was quoted by Reuters as telling reporters.

Philippine Airlines, a subsidiary of PAL Holdings Inc, incurred a net loss of $113.8 million for the fiscal first half ended September 30.

The global economic downturn has weakened travel demand, making it difficult for airlines to recover from high fuel prices that hit earnings for most of 2008.

"We have not increased our fuel hedging since September," said Bautista, without giving details.

"On the passenger side, there might be a very small growth (in 2009) but we will be happy if we will be able to achieve the same number as 8 million last year."

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