WAR FOR TALENT
When Philippine Airlines staff went on strike in 2011 in protest at plans to outsource three key departments, it virtually shut down the airline for several weeks. Cebu Pacific’s traffic went up, and PAL’s problems cast a spotlight on Cebu’s relatively trouble-free operations.
Partly, it is because the Cebu Pacific work force is not unionised. But Lance Gokongwei believes that it is also because the employees have bought into the company’s mission.
“I am very clear about what our airline represents – safety, lowest costs and smiles – and everything is focused on that,” he says. “We are very demanding on productivity, and measure our unit cost per ASK [available seat kilometre] every month and it has to go down. Our team members work very hard. But our retention rate is very good. There is a war for talent and we pay the market rate. Also, people would rather be part of a winning airline which is growing. Our guys know who is winning.”