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Philippine Airlines Recovery Around Corner

The Philippine national carrier says that it might turn a profit in 2003...

Philippine Airlines has said a recovery in demand since December means the nation's largest carrier will post a smaller loss than earlier expected in the year ending this month, raising the prospects for a profit in 2003.

Philippine Airlines' loss for the fiscal year ending on March 31st will be between 1.6 billion pesos ($31 million) and 1.8 billion pesos, Philippine Airlines President Avelino Zapanta said. The airline earlier expected to post a loss of 2.7 billion pesos for its fiscal year ending on March 31st, after the September 11th terrorist attacks in the US scared away travelers.

?Starting December, we made a profit already, though the numbers are below our targets,? Zapanta said. ?We intend to be in the black in our next fiscal year.?

Philippine Airlines posted a 1.5 billion peso loss in the three months ended on December 31st, its second straight quarterly loss, which may delay its emergence from a rehabilitation plan that it agreed upon with creditors after it could not service $2.3 billion of debt in 1999.