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Philippines government appreciates Philippine Airlines sale plan

The Philippines government has appreciated plans by tycoon Lucio Tan to sell loss-making flag carrier Philippine Airlines saying that the move is pragmatic and will significantly improve its image.

The comments by the government has come following media reports which quoted Tan as saying that he wanted to offload Philippine Airlines “at the right price”.

Philippine Airlines is Asia’s oldest carrier.

Media reports suggested that Philippine Airlines’ possible buyout was being discussed among Lucio Tan and San Miguel Corp. chief Ramon Ang and Manuel Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

However, Tan has so far refused to divulge the amount he actually wanted by offloading Philippine Airlines to prospective buyers.

Edwin Lacierda, Presidential spokesman, said that the government considers Philippine Airlines a national brand, and if additional investments come then it would surely help in improving the branding of the national carrier.

Earlier, Philippine Airlines had to suffer heavy financial losses after cancellation of hundreds of flights in September last year following a wildcat strike over Lucio Tan’s plans to offload Philippine Airlines and outsourcing thousands of jobs. The airline has also been suffering for quite a long time now due to various factors, such as ever increasing fuel prices, Middle East turmoil, Japan’s earthquake-tsunami disaster, and stiff competition from rival low-cost carriers.

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