PAL lets go of 300 employees to cut losses amid coronavirus outbreak

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Philippine Airlines says it has let go of 300 administrative and management staff through "voluntary separation" and retrenchment, to trIm losses brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — Some 300 employees of Philippine Airlines have left the company as the flag carrier seeks to trim losses amid the global novel coronavirus outbreak.

The country's biggest airline said Friday it has let go of select administrative and management personnel under a business restructuring scheme to "increase revenues and reduce costs." PAL said the streamlining came after ending 2019 at a loss, which has been aggravated by travel bans and flight cancellations to areas affected by the coronavirus.

READ: PAL cancels flights from China, Hong Kong, Macau until March 28

The 300 employees were removed from the company effective February 28. PAL said in a statement that all of them will "receive appropriate separation benefits, additional trip pass privileges, and assistance in the form of career counseling and outplacement support."

Other airlines worldwide have reported hefty costs brought about by the novel coronavirus. CNN International earlier reported that Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific asked its 27,000 workers to take three weeks off without pay to preserve cash and keep the airline afloat.

RELATED: Qantas, Air France, KLM tally up coronavirus costs

PAL planes have been used by the government to bring home Filipinos from Wuhan, China as well as 445 crew members and tourists aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship placed under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan due to confirmed cases of the disease. They were flown to the Clark International Airport in separate flights.

The airline owned by tycoon Lucio Tan added that it has also optimized its route network and offered ancillary products in a bid to raise revenues, and take on "more aggressive" efforts to reduce operational costs to raise additional revenues.