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Cebu Pacific working with gov’t for vaccine delivery, Cebgo CEO says

CEBU PACIFIC said it is coordinating with the government to participate in the transport and delivery of the coronavirus vaccines.

“Cebu Pacific is working with the government to make sure that both public and private sectors are coordinated in this national endeavor,” Cebgo President and Chief Executive Officer Alex B. Reyes said in a statement to BusinessWorld on Feb. 11.

“We have been carrying vaccines for some time now, whether it be for polio or flu, throughout our network,” he noted.

The budget carrier said it is ready to support “fast and efficient” delivery of the vaccines to large and small cities.

Both Philippines AirAsia, Inc. and Philippine Airlines have also expressed interest in the distribution of the vaccines.

Philippines AirAsia recently applied for regulatory approval as a carrier of dangerous goods.

Philippine Airlines participated in the recent simulation exercise on vaccine handling organized by the National Task Force on Vaccine Rollout.

Cebu Air, Inc., the listed operator of Cebu Pacific, suffered a net loss of P14.69 billion for the first nine months of 2020 from the P6.77-billion profit it generated in the same period in 2019.

The company is pushing through with a P12.5-billion share sale from March 3 to March 9, according to its announcement last week.

Cebu Air said it intends to use the net proceeds from the offer to strengthen its balance sheet “by providing liquidity to address its financial liabilities, including P4.805-billion allocation for repayment of an advance by JG Summit Philippines Ltd.; P3.913-billion budget for aircraft operating lease payments due in 2021; P3.328 billion for principal debt repayments, which is also due this year; and P0.384-billion allocation for general corporate purposes, “which are primarily for passenger refunds in case cash inflows from operations become insufficient as a consequence of the pandemic’s impact on health and travel-related concerns.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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