Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila Ninoy Aquino International) is keen to boost its cargo operations to capitalise on its at-home market dominance and burgeoning cargo demand. While the airline's revenue from passenger ops has tripled in the 12 months to September 30, 2022, cargo revenues "only" grew by a fifth.

“We will sustain and build up our cargo business to tap more air freight market opportunities and keep supply chains moving to meet specific transport needs. Philippine Airlines is not just a passenger airline, we are a cargo carrier, too," Philippine Airlines' spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna told Manila's Star newspaper.

The airline's fleet of 49 aircraft doesn't contain any dedicated freighters and analysis by Mordor Intelligence indicates the Philippines freight and logistics market is highly fragmented with many local and international freight and logistics providers competing for business. In October 2021, FedEx Express (FX, Memphis International) opened a gateway facility at Clark and DHL Express has recently increased flights into the country, adding around 50 tonnes a week of capacity to the market.

Philippine Airlines is buoyed by its rapid financial turnaround. In September 2021, the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This calendar year, the airline aims to book at least a PHP10 billion (USD180.9 million) net profit having benefited from strong passenger demand on its international flights and heavily reduced competition in and out of Manila.

Since exiting Chapter 11 earlier this year, Philippine Airlines has indicated an inclination to boost its cargo operations beyond what it can carry in the belly holds of passenger aircraft. The airline has shown interest in operating cargo-only flights that target specific freight needs, including the transport of vaccines and medical equipment.