Philippine Airlines' (PAL) newly contracted management consultancy, Regent Star Services, is calling for urgent action to avoid the repossession of the airline's fleet by frustrated creditors.

Chief advisor Peter Foster says in a memo to PAL staff: "By the end of January, we must have cash to make a payment to our principal secured creditors - the people who own the aircraft - otherwise there is a danger that they will start to repossess the fleet."

Foster leads the group of five former Cathay Pacific and Swire Group executives who founded the Hong Kong-based consultancy, under contract to reverse PAL's dismal financial situation.

He stresses that a revised rehabilitation plan for the airline has to be implemented rapidly. "The [current] rehabilitation plan has been rejected by the creditors. We must have a plan that is acceptable to the creditors, and workable in the long term, to keep PA L flying. This must be in place by the middle of March at the very latest," he says.

The government-appointed receiver committee handling PAL has revamped the airline's upper management in a bid to revive confidence. In the most senior of the moves, major shareholder Lucio Tan remains chairman, but has given up the role of chief executive. The new acting chief executive and president will be Luis Juan Virata, already a PAL board member and chairman and chief executive of investment bank Jardine Fleming Exchange Capital.

Source: Flight International