United Airlines (Chicago) today announced it is the first and only airline to offer premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled trans-continental flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco and between New York JFK and Los Angeles.
The revamped p.s. aircraft offer 28 180-degree flat-bed United BusinessFirst seats, offering up to 6’4″ of sleeping space and more room for storage; 42 extra-legroom United Economy Plusseats; and 72 United Economy seats.
Designed to give customers an experience comparable to long-haul, international flights, United’s refurbished p.s. aircraft also offer:
- Inflight Wi-Fi
- Personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat - with 15.4″ monitors in United BusinessFirst and 9″ monitors in United Economy - offering hundreds of movies and television shows, plus other entertainment options
- Power outlets and USB ports at every seat
- Two additional inches of legroom in United Economy Plus compared to Economy Plus legroom on pre-renovation p.s. service
- Multi-course meals in United BusinessFirst on most flights
- Wine selections recommended by Doug Frost, United’s Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, including half bottles of premium wines for purchase in United Economy
“Our investment in these aircraft and in the p.s. service will add greatly to our flyer-friendly customer experience on these coast-to-coast flights,” said Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. “This is just one more example of the many things we are doing to provide greater onboard comfort and convenience on every United flight.”
Customer Service Investments
United’s renovated p.s. aircraft are among the many investments the airline is making to enhance its customers’ experience in the air and on the ground. United also offers:
- Premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled long-haul international flight from the continental United States
- Satellite-fed Wi-Fi on more than 130 aircraft so far, with nearly all of United’s mainline fleet outfitted with Wi-Fi by the end of 2014
- An all-new mobile application for the iOS 7 platform, offering customers innovative new features, better functionality and an improved touch-friendly design
- Live television on more than 200 aircraft, the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television
- Significantly upgraded United Club lounges in Chicago O’Hare Terminal 2, Seattle and San Diego, with improved amenities, modern interiors, more power outlets and complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by United). Boeing 757-224 WL N19141 (msn 30354) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) is giving up on the Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo (Narita) route on January 16, 2014 according to The News Tribune. This was one of United’s first trans-Pacific routes, operated since April 1983. Delta is back-filling United’s departure with increased flights from SEA to Asia. United’s Star Alliance partner, ANA, will also continue to serve the route.
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Meanwhile United will launch a new route connecting the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub and Munich starting on April 24, 2013 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. United’s Boeing 777-222 ER N222UA (msn 30553) taxies to the gate after landing at SeaTac on a flight from Tokyo (Narita).
United Airlines (Chicago) officially opened its new wide body aircraft maintenance hangar yesterday at Washington Dulles International Airport, a major United hub and the airline’s principal gateway to the Middle East.
“The close relationship between Dulles and United goes back decades, and this facility represents yet another important investment in this key market,” said Greg Hart, United’s senior vice president for technical operations. “Our new maintenance hangar, coupled with additional improvements in our terminals, gate areas, lounges and employee facilities, will deliver greater reliability for our customers and enhance their overall travel experience.”
More than 600 area construction workers helped build the 125,000-square-foot hangar, which includes 85,000 square feet of enclosed aircraft space.
United has maintenance hangars at its hubs in Chicago O’Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is nearing completion on another wide body hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-322 ER N664UA (msn 29236) now with Blended Winglets completes its final approach into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Washington Dulles International Airport Hub Fact Sheet:
United Airlines (Chicago) is revealing plans today at its Investor Day conference in New York City to reduce costs, increase revenue and enhance profitability while delivering competitive reliability and excellent customer service.
United’s 2013 Investor Day will begin today at 8:30 a.m. ET. A live, listen-only webcast of the presentations and question and answer session will be available at ir.united.com. The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for a limited time.
Improve financial performance
The company has launched initiatives to reduce costs by $2 billion annually. The plan includes reducing fuel consumption, increasing productivity, reducing sourcing costs, improving maintenance processes and inventory procedures, and optimizing distribution methods. United aims to increase pre-tax earnings by two to four times the current level over the next four years and to generate sufficient cash to begin allocating capital to shareholders by 2015. This is in addition to the company’s existing goal of achieving a 10 percent return on invested capital.
United plans to increase ancillary revenue by approximately $700 million, with a goal of generating more than $3.5 billion in ancillary revenue by 2017. The company expects to achieve this growth by giving customers new options, optimizing pricing on existing products and expanding availability of ancillary products through additional distribution channels.
“Today we are announcing plans to significantly improve our efficiency, profitability and capital structure, making United a stronger, more investable business,” said John Rainey, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Further optimize the network
United is building on its strengths by leveraging its trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic joint ventures to further develop its unmatched route network. The company expects to improve results on its trans-Pacific network by redeploying certain widebody aircraft, including beginning a second daily Houston (Bush Intercontinental)-Tokyo service, subject to government approval, and eliminating Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo flying. United also will eliminate Tokyo-Bangkok Boeing 747 service and down-gauge Tokyo-Seoul flights, reallocating those long-haul aircraft to more profitable routes. ANA, United’s trans-Pacific joint venture partner, will provide the appropriate amount of the beyond-Tokyo connectivity for United’s trans-Pacific flights.
The company will use its highly efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to provide service to new markets, including previously announced service from San Francisco, the premier Pacific gateway, to Chengdu, China, subject to government approval. This is in addition to new Boeing 777-200 ER service effective March 29 from San Francisco to Taipei. The company will capitalize on its ability to serve growing secondary markets in Asia directly from the United States, similar to its successful strategy serving secondary European markets non-stop from its East Coast hubs.
Using aircraft previously operated on intra-Asia routes, United is also building its trans-Atlantic flying with new service from Houston to Munich and new seasonal routes from Washington Dulles to Madrid and Chicago O’Hare to Edinburgh. The new Munich and Madrid service is subject to government approval. Additionally, United will introduce all-widebody service to the Newark-London Heathrow route during the summer peak season, nearly doubling the number of flat-bed seats on each upgraded flight.
Introduce next phase e-commerce strategy
The company is launching the next phase of its successful e-commerce strategy, which provides an aligned set of tools that better address the needs of today’s mobile traveler. In addition to the new mobile app launched last week, United today previewed the new united.com. These enhancements will build on the company’s strong e-commerce platforms by providing clear, customized shopping and booking experiences, expanding opportunities for ancillary product and service sales and increasing ticket penetration through direct digital channels.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. United banking heavily on the Boeing 787 for the future. The company is also downsizing its presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which Delta Air Lines is back filling. Boeing 787-8 N27901 (msn 34821) is locked into position at Los Angeles International Airport ready for its run down the runway.
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United Airlines (Chicago) today announced the airline will inaugurate service at Atlantic City International Airport, offering customers daily nonstop flights to United’s hubs at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport beginning on April 1, 2014..
From Houston, United’s flight to Atlantic City will depart at 7 p.m. (1900) daily, arriving at 11:20 p.m. (2320). The return flight will depart Atlantic City at 6 a.m. (0600) and arrive in Houston at 8:49 a.m. (0849).
United Express carrier ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) will operate the Atlantic City flights with 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. ExpressJet Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N12136 (msn 145719) arrives at the Chicago O’Hare hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) has joined JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines in now offering electronics-friendly cabins. The airline issued this statement:
United Airlines is now offering its customers electronics-friendly cabins on all domestic mainline flights. The airline received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin allowing passengers use of their portable electronic devices during all phases of flight. United will immediately implement the benefit for its customers.
With this change, United customers can safely use their lightweight, hand-held electronic devices – such as tablets, e-readers, games and smartphones – in non-transmitting mode from gate-to-gate, unless instructed otherwise by a crew member. Larger electronic devices, like laptops, must still be stored securely in an overhead bin or another approved stowage area during takeoff and landing.
Currently, only United customers traveling on mainline flights arriving or departing within the 50 United States may operate portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. However, the airline is working with its regional partners to extend the benefit, and expects to allow customers gate-to-gate use of their electronic devices across all United Express flights operating within the 50 United States by the end of the year as well.
Passengers may still be asked to turn off their electronic devices in certain situations, such as low-visibility operations, and are reminded to carefully follow crew member instructions at all times. Voice calls from cell phones or VoIP-enabled devices are also still prohibited during taxiing, takeoffs, landings and while the aircraft is in flight.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. United Airlines’ Boeing 737-824 WL N73276 (msn 31594) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) tomorrow (November 5) will begin daily nonstop flights from its hub at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Luis Munoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Flight UA 1688 will depart Chicago O’Hare at 8:27 a.m. (0827) daily, arriving in San Juan at 3:05 p.m. (1505). The return flight, UA 1718, will depart San Juan at 3:55 p.m. (1555) and arrive in Chicago at 7:19 p.m. (1919). The service will be operated with Boeing 737-900 aircraft, with seating for 20 in United First, 51 in Economy Plus and 96 in Economy.
United will begin additional seasonal nonstop service between Chicago O’Hare and San Juan on December 4, 2013. Flight UA 1448 will depart Chicago O’Hare at 4:10 p.m. (1610) daily, arriving in San Juan at 10:48 p.m. (2248). The return flight, UA 1405, will depart San Juan at 7:05 a.m. (0705), arriving in Chicago at 10:29 a.m. (1029). The seasonal service will operate until January 6, 2014.
With the addition of the Chicago flights, United will offer nonstop service between Puerto Rico and five of its hubs. The airline already serves Puerto Rico nonstop from Cleveland, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Newark and Washington, D.C./Dulles.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 WL N32404 (msn 30121) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
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United Airlines‘ (Chicago) fleet service, passenger service and stockroom employees, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), have ratified a new contract with the company.
The IAM issued this statement:
After more than four years of negotiations, a merger of three airlines and numerous representation elections, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced members at United Airlines ratified agreements covering approximately 30,000 fleet service, passenger service and stockroom employees.
“I thank all IAM members for their patience and solidarity through this entire process,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “These contracts provide IAM members at United Airlines the best overall terms in the airline industry. It’s now time to move on, unify as one and make our union stronger.”
With over 65 percent participation, each contract was approved by more than 70 percent of voting members.
The agreements run through 2016 and provide immediate wage increases ranging from 7-29 percent, and from 19-56 percent over the term of the agreements. The accords also preserve and improve both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, provide 96 percent of the workforce protection from outsourcing, maintain affordable health insurance options and increases vacation time, among other enhancements.
“IAM members demonstrated perseverance and patience during these difficult negotiations,” said Airline Coordinator Ira Levy. “There haven’t been negotiations in recent memory as complex as these, and our negotiators should be proud of what they accomplished.”
Approximately 1,500 IAM fleet technical instructors, maintenance instructors and food service and security officers remain in negotiations.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-424 ER N69059 (man 29454) climbs away from the Washington Dulles hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) is being fined $1.1 million by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for ramp delays at the Chicago O’Hare hub.
The DOT issued this statement:
The U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined United Airlines $1.1 million for lengthy tarmac delays that took place at Chicago-O’Hare International Airport on July 13, 2012. The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future violations of the tarmac-delay rule.
This is the largest fine assessed for a tarmac-delay violation since the rule limiting long tarmac delays first took effect in April 2010. Of the $1.1 million, United will pay the United States $475,000; the remainder covers mitigation measures for affected passengers and significant corrective actions by United to enhance future compliance with tarmac delay requirements.
“It is unacceptable for passengers to be stranded in planes on the tarmac for hours on end,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to require airlines to adopt workable plans to protect passengers from lengthy tarmac delays and carry out these plans when necessary.”
United is being fined for 13 lengthy tarmac delays that took place on a day when severe thunderstorms and lightning caused several ramp closures and disrupted the movement of aircraft at O’Hare. Delays by United and its United Express code-share affiliates exceeded the three-hour limit for tarmac delays by as little as two minutes and as much as 77 minutes. Although United had a contingency plan for tarmac delays, DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that the airline did not implement the plan during these delays, and that the plan was inadequate to cover foreseeable weather emergencies in which there were more planes on the ground than space at gates. The Enforcement Office also found that United did not contact airport personnel or other airlines for assistance during the tarmac delays. Additionally, on two United Express flights, the lavatories were inoperable during part of the delays.
Under DOT rules, U.S. airlines operating aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats are prohibited from allowing their domestic flights to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours at U.S. airports without giving passengers an opportunity to leave the plane. Exceptions to the time limits are allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons. The rules also require airlines to provide adequate food and water, ensure that lavatories are working and, if necessary, provide medical attention to passengers during long tarmac delays.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N405UA (msn 452) arrives at the Chicago (O’Hare) hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) reported third-quarter 2013 net income of $590 million, an increase of 13.5 percent year-over-year, or $1.51 per diluted share, excluding $211 million of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported third-quarter 2013 net income of $379 million, or $0.98 per diluted share.
- UAL generated $10.2 billion of revenue in the third quarter of 2013.
- United’s consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2012.
- Third-quarter consolidated unit costs (CASM), holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant and excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 3.6 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity (available seat miles) reduction of 1.1 percent. Third-quarter consolidated CASM increased 1.2 percent year-over-year.
- United’s third-quarter consolidated fuel efficiency (gallons per available seat mile) improved 1.1 percent year-over-year, due primarily to replacing older aircraft with highly efficient new Boeing 737-900ERs and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
- UAL ended the third quarter with $6.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
“We have significantly improved our operations, customer service and product, and are now competitive on all those dimensions. I want to thank my co-workers as we work together to deliver on our promise of making United flyer friendly,” said Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “However, we are not satisfied with our financial performance, and are taking prompt actions to increase our revenue and operate more efficiently across the company.”
Third-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the third quarter, total revenue was $10.2 billion, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Third-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 1.6 percent year-over-year to $8.9 billion, on a consolidated capacity decrease of 1.1 percent year-over-year. Other revenue in the third quarter increased 25.0 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion and third-quarter cargo revenue decreased 19.1 percent versus the third quarter of 2012 to $199 million.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased 0.3 percent on a consolidated capacity decrease of 1.1 percent year-over-year, resulting in a consolidated load factor of 85.9 percent in the third quarter.
Third-quarter consolidated PRASM increased 2.7 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Consolidated yield for the third quarter increased 1.9 percent year-over-year.
“This quarter my co-workers consistently delivered solid operational performance, and our customer satisfaction scores continue to rise,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. ”We are, however, disappointed by the pace of our revenue improvements, and we are taking numerous actions to improve our performance to more swiftly realize our full revenue potential.”
Third-quarter passenger revenue and period-to-period comparisons of related statistics for UAL’s mainline and regional operations are as follows:
|3Q 2013 Passenger
Total operating expenses increased $11 million, or 0.1 percent, in the third quarter versus the same period in 2012. Excluding special charges, third-quarter total operating expenses increased $314 million, or 3.4 percent, year-over-year.
Third-quarter consolidated CASM increased 1.2 percent year-over-year. Third-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 2.9 percent compared to third-quarter 2012. Third-party business expense was $205 million in the third quarter of 2013.
In the third quarter, consolidated CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense and holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant, increased 3.6 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.
“We are committed to operating more efficiently across all aspects of our business,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We continue to improve our balance sheet and to make return-driven investments in our business, both of which are critical to creating long-term economic value for our stakeholders.”
Liquidity and Cash Flow
UAL ended the third quarter with $6.7 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. During the third quarter, UAL generated $237 million of operating cash flow. The company’s gross capital expenditures and purchase deposits for the quarter were $598 million, and the company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $253 million in the third quarter.
Third-Quarter 2013 Accomplishments
Operations, Co-workers and Customer Service
- United Airlines reported a third-quarter mainline on-time arrival rate (domestic and international) of 78.9 percent. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time. United co-workers earned cash-incentive payments of $9 million for on-time performance during the third quarter.
- The company reached tentative agreements on new joint collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) for the more than 28,000 fleet service, passenger service and storekeeper employees.
- United’s pilots established an integrated seniority list, and United announced it offered recall to nearly 600 pilots currently on furlough to address the airline’s future staffing needs.
- United neared completion of its comprehensive customer service training program for all customer-facing co-workers worldwide with more than 90 percent of mainline and United Express flight attendants, airport agents and reservation agents trained through the third quarter.
Network, Fleet and Sustainability
- In the third quarter, the company announced it is expanding its leading worldwide route network and will launch future nonstop service from San Francisco to Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, and from Chicago to Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in June 2014. This quarter, United launched new nonstop service to St. Lucia, as well as additional nonstop service to Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Traverse City, Mich.; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The company also announced it is adding three other cities to its network: Elmira, N.Y., Topeka, Kan.; and Sun Valley, Idaho, as well as additional service to Fort Myers, Fla.; Hayden, Colo.; Indianapolis; and State College, Pa.
- The company took delivery of seven new highly efficient aircraft, including six Boeing 737-900 ERs and one Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and removed from service seven Boeing 757-200s.
- A United Boeing 737-800 aircraft retrofitted with the new Split Scimitar Winglet began test flights. United is the North American launch customer for the Next-Generation 737 advanced winglet that improves the efficiency of the company’s 737 fleet by approximately 2 percent while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, and the company will begin installing the new winglets across its 737 fleet by year end.
- United was named the Eco-Aviation “Airline of the Year” Gold Winner by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine.
Product, Loyalty Program and Facilities
- United debuted its new brand campaign, featuring its iconic “Fly the Friendly Skies” tagline, reinterpreted for today’s travelers. The new campaign explains United’s commitment to being “user-friendly,” which to customers today means the combination of service, technology and product enhancements.
- The company continued outfitting aircraft with global satellite Wi-Fi across its entire mainline fleet, offering inflight connectivity on long-haul international flights. The airline now has more than 115 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft and is outfitting about one aircraft per day with global satellite Wi-Fi.
- The airline expanded its offering of live television to more than 200 aircraft, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.
- United released refreshed applications for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry 10 that include streamlined user interfaces along with a new feature that enables customers to manage their travel in real time if a flight delay or cancellation should occur.
- United continued retrofitting its p.s. (Premium Service) transcontinental aircraft that fly from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The airline already has retrofitted 12 of its 15 p.s. aircraft with the latest cabin interiors, premium-cabin flat-bed seats, and personal on-demand entertainment and Wi-Fi throughout the aircraft.
- United debuted its Choice Menu “Bistro on Board” featuring new fresh food menu options available for sale to Economy customers on flights longer than three-and-a-half hours within North America and to and from Central America. United is providing customers innovative selections made with high-quality ingredients that will change seasonally.
- United MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards® joined forces to provide their most loyal members with unprecedented travel benefits. Through the RewardsPlus program, United customers who are Premier Gold MileagePlus members or above can enjoy Marriott Gold Elite status and benefits. The program also offers Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite members MileagePlus Premier Silver status.
- The company teamed up with Mercedes-Benz USA to provide innovative new benefits exclusively to United’s most frequent flyers seeking a luxury driving experience. MileagePlus Premier members receive incentives and 25,000 bonus miles when purchasing or leasing certain new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. In addition, United and Mercedes partnered to offer United’s Global Services customers tarmac transfer service at the airline’s Chicago and Houston hubs.
- The company opened its new United Club lounge in Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport, the third club to feature the airline’s new design concept.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United is gradually phasing out its older Boeing 757-200s with seven retired in this quarter alone. Ex-Continental Boeing 757-224 WL N17122 (msn 27564) departs from Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to provide daily nonstop service from the airline’s hub at San Francisco International Airport to Haneda Airport in downtown Tokyo. United applied for the Haneda Airport slot pair used by American Airlines for New York (JFK)-Haneda service, which the carrier announced on October 16, 2013, it will terminate.
United proposes to begin the new service from San Francisco in the summer of 2014, using existing aircraft in its fleet, subject to government approval.
From San Francisco, United and the United Express carriers operate more than 300 daily flights to more than 90 cities in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe. With nonstop service from San Francisco to Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo Narita, and beginning next year to Taipei and Chengdu (subject to government approval), United’s San Francisco hub serves more destinations across the Pacific with more nonstop flights from the United States than any other airline, and nearly twice as many as any other airline from the U.S. West Coast. United also operates daily nonstop flights to Tokyo Narita from Chicago, Denver, Guam, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
The proposed San Francisco-Haneda flights will complement United’s daily San Francisco-Tokyo Narita service, which will continue to operate and offer alternative time-of-day departures and arrivals, as well as options for passengers who prefer to travel to Tokyo Narita or are making connections there.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N222UA (msn 30553) lands at SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport).
United Airlines (Chicago) will add flights to popular U.S. ski destinations for the upcoming winter and spring ski season, with three new routes and increased service on several existing routes.
On December 12, 2013, United will launch nonstop service from its San Francisco hub to Sun Valley, Idaho, with daily flights offered through March 30, 2014.
United will also begin nonstop service from its Chicago O’Hare hub to Gunnison/Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Colorado. The Gunnison/Crested Butte flights will begin on December 21, 2013, and the Steamboat Springs/Hayden flights will begin on February 15, 2014. The Gunnison/Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs/Hayden flights will operate through March 29, 2014.
Additional Service on Existing Markets
United will also add flights to existing ski market routes from several of its hubs:
- Denver to Kalispell/Whitefish, Montana.
- Houston to Aspen, Colorado.
- Houston, Los Angeles and Newark to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
- Los Angeles to Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Colorado.
- Newark to Bozeman, Montana.
United Express carrier SkyWest Airlines (United Express) (St. George, UT) will operate the new routes, using Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet aircraft with United First, United Economy Plus and United Economy seating.
SkyWest’s CRJ700 aircraft are among the first being outfitted with United’s new signature seat design that is focused on customer comfort and environmental responsibility.
The multi-tonal leather seats on the CRJ700 aircraft will have more ergonomic and supportive cushioning and additional seat-back storage space in United Economy Plus and United Economy. New technology makes the seats more environmentally friendly by reducing seat weight and volume, contributing to less fuel burn. United will also outfit other aircraft types with the multi-tonal leather interiors and similar cushioning and seat-back storage.
Winter Ski Destinations from All U.S. Hubs
From the Denver hub alone, United offers nonstop flights to 13 ski resorts for the winter ski season. Additionally, the new flights further expand United’s broad range of winter-season service from all of its U.S. hubs to ski destinations across North America, including:
- Aspen: from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco
- Bozeman: from Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco
- Burlington, Vt.: from Chicago, Cleveland, New York/Newark and Washington
- Durango, Colo.: from Denver
- Eagle/Vail, Colo.: from Denver, Houston and New York/Newark
- Gunnison/Crested Butte: from Chicago, Denver and Houston
- Hayden/Steamboat Springs: from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York/Newark
- Jackson Hole: from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco
- Kalispell/Whitefish: from Denver
- Kelowna, British Columbia: from Los Angeles
- Mammoth Lakes, Calif.: from Orange County and San Francisco
- Montrose/Telluride, Colo.: from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York/Newark
- Reno/Tahoe, Nev.: from Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
- Salt Lake City: from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
- Santa Fe/Taos, N.M.: from Denver
- Sun Valley: from San Francisco
- Vancouver, British Columbia: from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N706SK (msn 10149) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Silver Airways (United Express) (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Gainesville, FL) and United Airlines (Chicago) have announced that they have reached agreement reaffirming the code-share relationship between the two carriers on service throughout Florida and the Bahamas. In addition, Silver Airways will continue to operate as an United Express carrier in their shared Mid-Atlantic hubs in Cleveland and Washington, DC (Dulles).
News of the renewed relationship follows a June 2013 release from Silver Airways announcing that it had successfully migrated to a new, stand alone reservations system and website powered by Sabre.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.
United Airlines (Chicago) will begin new nonstop service from its two West Coast hubs on April 1, 2014, with twice-daily flights between San Francisco and Atlanta and between Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The daily schedules are as follows:
|San Francisco – Atlanta||Atlanta – San Francisco|
|8:30 a.m.||4:07 p.m.||7:00 a.m.||9:16 a.m.|
|4:00 p.m.||11:37 p.m.||4:55 p.m.||7:11 p.m.|
|Los Angeles – Minneapolis||Minneapolis – Los Angeles|
|8:40 a.m.||2:18 p.m.||6:00 a.m.||8:00 a.m.|
|6:00 p.m.||11:38 p.m.||4:00 p.m.||6:00 p.m.|
United will operate the Atlanta flights using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and SkyWest Airlines will operate the United Express service to Minneapolis/St. Paul using Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet aircraft. The aircraft for both routes will be outfitted with United First, United Economy Plus and United Economy seating.
Additionally, on April 1, 2014, United will add a new flight between San Francisco and Seattle/Tacoma and will convert all of its existing service on the route to mainline aircraft. This will bring the total number of departures each way to 11, and increase the number of United’s seats available on the route by more than 50 percent.
United’s San Francisco Hub
From San Francisco International Airport, United and the United Express carriers operate more than 300 flights each day to more than 90 cities in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe – more than any other carrier. With nonstop service from San Francisco to Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo – and beginning next year to Taipei and Chengdu, subject to government approval – United’s San Francisco hub serves more destinations across the Pacific with more nonstop flights from the United States than any other airline – nearly twice as many as any other airline from the West Coast.
United’s Los Angeles Hub
United and the United Express carriers operate almost 200 daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to nearly 55 airports across the United States and more than 10 international destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Canada, including service to London, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N37281 (msn 31599) climbs away from the Los Angeles hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) on October 3 unveiled a new, signature seat design focused on customer comfort and environmental responsibility, with a sophisticated, modern look. The company will deploy the new seats on hundreds of aircraft that fly within the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.
The new design includes:
- Bold elements, such as multi-tonal leather seat covers, distinctive double-stitch patterns, sculpted contouring and a new United-branded tag
- More ergonomic and supportive cushioning and additional seat-back storage space in United Economy Plus and United Economy
- Technology that makes the seats more environmentally friendly by reducing seat weight and volume, contributing to less fuel burn
The airline is introducing the new design with a Bombardier CRJ700 operated by United Express carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George). United expects to deploy the new look on its domestic mainline aircraft and on regional aircraft operated by United Express carriers. Ultimately, United plans the new design to be on more than 60,000 seats on more than 500 aircraft, including, United anticipates, approximately 400 aircraft by 2015.
The airline developed the seats with global travel and transport design consultant Priestmangoode.
Copyright Photos: United Airlines. The new CRJ700 seats.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that the company has reached tentative agreements on new joint collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) for the fleet service, passenger service and storekeeper workgroups at its United, Continental, Continental Micronesia and MileagePlus subsidiaries. United and the IAM reached these agreements with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, and the agreements are subject to ratification by IAM members.
The agreements cover more than 28,000 United employees.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N14228 (msn 28792) completes its final approach to the runway at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) is dropping the Los Angeles-Inyokern route on November 5 per Airline Route. The United Express route is operated with Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias of SkyWest Airlines (St. George, UT).
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/Airlinersgallery.com. Wearing the new identity, Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N295SW (msn 120322) taxies at the San Francisco hub.
Mesa extends its contract with United Airlines to 2019 to operate 20 Bombardier CRJ700s, will also add 30 Embraer 175 aircraft
Mesa Air Group, Inc. (Mesa Airlines) (Phoenix) has announced a new agreement with United Airlines (Chicago) that extends the term of its existing fleet of 20 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet aircraft to 2019 and adds 30 new United owned Embraer 175 (ERJ 175) aircraft under the United Express contract.
Under the terms of this agreement Mesa will place the new Embraer 175 jets into service over the next two years. Mesa will hire approximately 350 pilots, 300 flight attendants, and 200 maintenance and other support personnel to support the additional aircraft.
“This is truly a great day for Mesa. We will continue to work hard to provide the best possible service to United’s customers,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa’s Chairman and CEO. “Mesa began operating under the United Express banner in 1992, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to expand our longstanding partnership. Our first codeshare agreement with United transformed our company, and I am sure this one will do the same. We are also very pleased to rejoin the Embraer family of operators and look forward to working with our many friends there as well.”
Paul Foley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said, “It has always been our goal to exceed the expectations of both our partners and customers. We believe this contract is evidence that our operational performance and industry leading cost structure have begun to pay big dividends for the company and our people. Based on data from the Department of Transportation, Mesa has been the number one performing regional airline for each of the last three years. We’d like to thank all of our people who have contributed to our success and enabled us to compete successfully for this new business.”
Mesa Airlines currently operates over 425 daily system departures to 82 cities, 32 states, Mexico and the District of Columbia, as United Express and US Airways Express under contractual agreements with United Airlines and US Airways, respectively, and independently in Hawaii as go! The airline, founded by Larry and Janie Risley in New Mexico in 1982, has approximately 2,000 employees.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Mesa Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N515MJ (msn 10117) arrives at the Washington (Dulles) hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced will launch nonstop summer seasonal service between its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning on May 22, 2014, subject to government approval. This will be the first scheduled nonstop service between the two cities.
The flights will operate five times weekly from May 22 to June 11, daily between June 12 and September 1 and four times weekly between Sept. 2 and Oct. 5, 2014.
The flights will depart Chicago O’Hare at 6 p.m. (1800), arriving in Edinburgh at 7:45 a.m. (0745) the following day. The return flights will depart Edinburgh at 10:25 a.m. (1025), arriving in Chicago at 1 p.m. (1300) the same day (all times local). Flight times are seven hours, 45 minutes eastbound and eight hours, 35 minutes westbound.
The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United offers more nonstop service to more destinations from its Chicago O’Hare hub than any other carrier and has added 11 new routes from Chicago since the beginning of 2013.
United currently operates year-round nonstop service from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, having started service to Scotland in 1998.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N521UA (msn 24891) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced plans to launch new nonstop service from its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport to Elmira, New York, and State College, Pennsylvania. The airline also plans to begin new service from Chicago O’hare to Topeka, Kansas, subject to government approval. ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) will operate the United Express flights using 50-seat regional jet aircraft. The State College and Topeka flights will begin on January 7, 2014, and the Elmira service will begin on February 13, 2014.
The weekday flight schedules follow. Weekend schedules may vary. Schedules are subject to change.
|Chicago – Elmira||Elmira – Chicago|
|2:15 p.m.||5:00 p.m.||6:15 a.m.||7:18 a.m.|
|9:00 p.m.||11:45 p.m.||5:30 p.m.||6:33 p.m.|
|Chicago – State College||State College – Chicago|
|1:55 p.m.||4:33 p.m.||6:20 a.m.||7:17 a.m.|
|6:45 p.m.||9:23 p.m.||5:03 p.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|Chicago – Topeka||Topeka – Chicago|
|1:00 p.m.||2:44 p.m.||6:00 a.m.||7:36 a.m.|
|8:30 p.m.||10:14 p.m.||3:14 p.m.||4:50 p.m.|
Elmira and Topeka are both new destinations in United’s route network. The airline currently serves State College from its hub at Washington Dulles.
With these new routes, United has added service to ten new destinations from Chicago O’Hare since the beginning of 2013. Other new year-round and seasonal destinations include Mobile, Alabama; Fairbanks, Alaska; Nassau, Bahamas; Shannon, Ireland; San Jose, Costa Rica; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
United and United Express operate nearly 570 daily flights from the O’Hare hub to more than 125 domestic and more than 30 international destinations.
Copyright Photo: ExpressJet’s Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N11194 (msn 145940) arrives at the Dulles International hub near Washington.
United Airlines (Chicago) has been described as “one big company, but not yet one happy family” in an article written by Kristen Leigh Painter of the Denver Post. According to the article, labor inefficiencies are delaying the promised merger financial benefits. The merged airline is also coming under increased scrutiny due to the proposed airline merger of American Airlines and US Airways. For the most part, United’s unions are still divided operating under separate contracts. Is this the future for the “new” American Airlines if their controversial merger is approved?
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N409UA (msn 462) taxies to the gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com?
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced it will recall nearly 600 pilots currently on furlough to address the airline’s future staffing needs. No United pilots will remain on furlough following the recall.
Training classes for the recalled pilots will begin next month and run through the end of the year. In total, United has more than 12,000 pilots.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N75426 (msn 31622) departs from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new daily nonstop service from Indianapolis to its hub at San Francisco International Airport., beginning on January 7, 2014. The conveniently timed flights will operate using Airbus A319 aircraft, with eight United First seats, 40 United Economy Plus seats and 72 United Economy seats.
United flight 500 will depart Indianapolis International Airport (IND) at 8 a.m. (0800), arriving at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) at 10 a.m. (1000). The return flight, United 317, will depart San Francisco at 1:35 p.m. (1335), arriving in Indianapolis at 8:51 p.m. (2051). The new service, which launches from San Francisco to Indianapolis on January 7 and from Indianapolis to San Francisco on January 8, will provide travelers with convenient connections from United’s largest West Coast hub to points throughout North America, Asia and Australia. United currently offers nonstop service from Indianapolis to its hubs in Chicago (O’Hare), Cleveland, Denver, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Newark and Washington, D.C. (Dulles) with up to 35 daily flights offering single-connection access to more than 261 cities across the globe.
In other news, the pilots of United Airlines and Continental Airlines have finally released an integrated seniority list. A three-member pilot arbitration panel came up with the solution after three years of negotiations.
Read the full report from the Denver Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 N828UA (msn 1031) lands at Las Vegas.
United Airlines (Chicago) today applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to begin nonstop service linking the airline’s San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, effective June 9, 2014.
United intends to use the world’s most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, to operate three-times-weekly service to Chengdu. If approved, Chengdu will be the ninth destination United serves in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco, from which United offers more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from the United States than any other carrier – nearly twice as many as any airline from any West Coast city.
The proposed flights, subject to government approval, will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:35 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:50 p.m. the following day (all times local). Service from Chengdu will depart at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:50 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight will shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China, is the country’s fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. In recent years, Chengdu has been one of the country’s fastest-developing cities economically, and more than 200 Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. Sichuan is famous as the natural habitat of the giant panda and home to one of China’s most popular cuisines.
From San Francisco, United provides access to more than 300 destinations worldwide, with nonstop service to 80 destinations on five continents – more than any other carrier. The airline operates more nonstop China-U.S. flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline.
United started nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today serves Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco and Washington (Dulles); Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco, Guam, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Copyright Photo: KSK/AirlinersGallery.com. United’s Boeing 787-8 N26902 (msn 34822) gracefully climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) will start weekly Denver-Fort Myers seasonal service with Boeing 737-800s on December 16, 2013. The route will go to daily service on January 7, 2014 per Airline Route. The flights will end on April 7, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N26210 (msn 28770) in the Star Alliance livery soars into the Southern California skies from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
United Airlines (Chicago) customers who want to enjoy fresh food in flight now have new options available for purchase, as the airline today debuted its Choice Menu ”Bistro on Board.” The options are available to United Economy customers on most flights scheduled for more than three-and-a-half hours within North America and to and from Central America.
Breakfast Bistro on Board selections include a ham and Swiss baguette; a sweet cheese pastry; and a morning energy selection of a hard-cooked egg, cheese, grapes, a wheat roll and almond butter. The lunch and dinner menu now includes a caprese baguette; a bacon, lettuce and tomato wrap; and a roast beef and cheddar baguette, as well as an Asian-style noodle salad and artisan cheese selection.
In addition, a bistro scramble with eggs, potatoes, ham, bell peppers and cheddar cheese, and a lunch and dinner chicken stir fry are available on Hawaii flights to and from Chicago, Newark, Houston and Washington.
United prepares Bistro on Board items fresh daily. The selections will change seasonally, with new items coming in October, as United provides customers innovative selections made with high-quality ingredients. In keeping with the airline’s commitment to sustainability, United wraps the Bistro on Board items in packaging made with environmentally friendly materials. The packaging is also less bulky, which will lead to less waste and a smaller carbon footprint.
In addition to Bistro on Board, United will continue to offer the Choice Menu Snack Shop – snack boxes, candy, pita chips and hummus, granola bars, Pringles and Chex Mix. Snack Shop items are available for purchase all day in United Economy on most flights within North America and to and from Central America scheduled for more than two hours.
Copyright Photo: United Airlines.
United Airlines (Chicago) today reported second-quarter 2013 net income of $521 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, excluding $52 million of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported second-quarter 2013 net income of $469 million, an increase of 38 percent year-over-year, or $1.21 per diluted share.
- UAL generated $10 billion of revenue in the second quarter of 2013, its highest ever second-quarter revenue result.
- Leading the U.S. airline industry in year-over-year passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) growth for the second consecutive quarter, United’s PRASM increased 1.0 percent in the second quarter compared to the second quarter of 2012.
- Second-quarter consolidated unit costs (CASM), holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant and excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 4.5 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity (available seat miles) reduction of 2.1 percent. Second-quarter consolidated CASM increased 0.7 percent year-over-year.
- UAL ended the second quarter with $7.0 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
Second-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the second quarter, total revenue was $10.0 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Second-quarter consolidated passenger revenue decreased 1.1 percent year-over-year to $8.7 billion, on a consolidated capacity decrease of 2.1 percent year-over-year. Cargo and other revenue in the second quarter increased 13.8 percent versus the second quarter of 2012, or $162 million, to $1.3 billion.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased 1.7 percent on a consolidated capacity decrease of 2.1 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, resulting in a consolidated load factor of 84.7 percent, the highest second-quarter consolidated load factor in United’s history.
Second-quarter consolidated PRASM increased 1.0 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Consolidated yield for the second quarter increased 0.6 percent year-over-year.
Mainline RPMs in the second quarter decreased 2.1 percent on a mainline capacity decrease of 2.4 percent year-over-year, resulting in a mainline load factor of 84.9 percent. Second-quarter mainline yield increased 0.5 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Second-quarter mainline PRASM increased 0.7 percent year-over-year.
Total operating expenses decreased $133 million, or 1.4 percent, in the second quarter versus the same period in 2012. Excluding special charges, second-quarter total operating expenses increased $21 million, or 0.2 percent, year-over-year.
Second-quarter consolidated and mainline CASM increased 0.7 and 1.3 percent year-over-year, respectively. Second-quarter consolidated and mainline CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 1.1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, compared to second-quarter 2012. Third-party business expense was $170 million in the second quarter of 2013.
In the second quarter, consolidated and mainline CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense and holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant, increased 4.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, compared to the second quarter of 2012.
Liquidity and Cash Flow
UAL ended the second quarter with $7.0 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. During the second quarter, UAL generated $1.1 billion of operating cash flow. The company’s gross capital expenditures and purchase deposits for the quarter were $549 million. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $540 million in the second quarter, including $144 million of pre-payments.
Finance, Network and Fleet
- United issued $300 million of senior unsecured notes due 2018 at an interest rate of 6.375 percent.
- During the quarter, the company expanded its industry-leading global route network, launching new nonstop service between Paris and San Francisco; between Tokyo and Denver and between Shannon, Ireland, and Chicago. The company also launched new nonstop service to Austin, Texas; Charleston, S.C.; Fairbanks, Alaska; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Mobile, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; Saint George, Utah; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Traverse City, Mich.; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Wichita, Kan. United also added three new cities to its network: Dickinson, N.D.; Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada and Santa Fe, N.M. The company announced future new nonstop markets, including the company’s first nonstop service to St. Lucia, as well as additional service to Austin, Texas, and Gunnison, Colo.
- United welcomed back the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with commercial service between Houston and its other domestic hubs. The airline launched the highly anticipated Denver to Tokyo-Narita service in June, marking a successful return of the Dreamliner to United’s international skies. United also launched temporary 787 service from Houston to London in June, and in August the company will start additional 787 international service from Houston to Lagos, Nigeria, and from Los Angeles to Tokyo and Shanghai.
- The company increased its Dreamliner order to 65. United will be the North American launch customer for the Boeing 787-10. The company also converted its existing order for 25 A350-900s into A350-1000s and added an additional 10 aircraft to the order, totaling 35 aircraft. United expects delivery for both the 787-10 and A350-1000 beginning in 2018, enabling the airline to further modernize its international widebody fleet by replacing older, less efficient aircraft to reduce fuel and operating costs, enhance the customer experience and maximize network opportunities.
- United will introduce 70 Embraer 175 aircraft into the United Express fleet beginning in 2014. These aircraft – with 76 seats, a larger first-class cabin and larger overhead bins – will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc. and another United Express carrier, with deliveries expected in 2014 and 2015.
- The company took delivery of six Boeing 737-900 ERs and removed from service two Boeing 757-200s and the last five Boeing 737-500s and the last five Boeing 767-200s from its fleet.
- The company executed a definitive purchase agreement with AltAir Fuels for 15 million gallons of cost-competitive, commercial-scale, sustainable aviation biofuel to be used on flights departing LAX in 2014. AltAir Fuels’ renewable jet fuel is expected to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.
Product, Loyalty Program and Facilities
- United reached a milestone of being the only U.S. carrier offering 180-degree flat-bed seats and personal on-demand entertainment in premium cabins on all scheduled, long-haul international flights from the continental U.S.
- The company continued outfitting aircraft with global satellite Wi-Fi, offering inflight connectivity on long-haul international flights. The airline now has 57 aircraft complete and is installing satellite Wi-Fi at a rate of over 25 aircraft per month for the remainder of 2013.
- The airline introduced its 200th aircraft with live television, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.
- United launched subscription options that offer customers access to Economy Plus seating or pre-paid checked baggage charges for a year, providing new choices for customers to tailor their travel experiences.
- United introduced a revenue component to its MileagePlus premier status qualification requirements for the 2015 program year.
- United debuted the MileagePlus Small Business Network, a first-of-its-kind loyalty program that enables businesses to earn and redeem miles by purchasing goods and services from the program’s vendor partners, including leading providers of printing, shipping, credit card payment processing, office supplies and computing services.
- United opened its new Terminal B south concourse at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The $97 million south concourse is a new 225,000-square-foot facility dedicated to United Express regional flights.
- United signed a 20-year lease extension at Newark Liberty International Airport and committed to invest an additional $150 million in the region’s largest hub to ensure the airport remains one of the country’s premier global gateways. The facility upgrades include a redesign of the airline’s check-in facilities, a new catering facility and an advanced checked baggage screening system.
Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. During the second quarter United Airlines again retired the last five Boeing 737-500s and the last five Boeing 767-200s from its fleet. Boeing 737-524 N16642 (msn 28903) climbs away from the runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-224 ER N69154 (msn 30433) rests between flights at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) Boeing 737-800 aircraft retrofitted with the new Split Scimitar Winglet took its maiden test flight Tuesday (July 16) in Everett, Washington. This advanced winglet improves on the existing blended winglets United currently has on its next generation 737 fleet.
In January, United served as the launch customer for this innovative winglet when it made a firm commitment with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) to retrofit its 737-800 fleet. In June, United announced its commitment to also retrofit its 737-900ER fleet. Using a newly patented design, the program consists of retrofitting United’s Boeing Next Generation 737 Blended Winglets by replacing the aluminum winglet tip cap with a new aerodynamically shaped “Scimitar”™ winglet tip cap and by adding a new Scimitar-tipped ventral strake.
This new winglet design demonstrates significant aircraft drag reduction over the basic blended winglet configuration United uses on its current fleet. United expects the new Split Scimitar winglet to result in approximately a two percent fuel savings for the 737. Once the Split Scimitar Winglets are installed, the combined winglet technology installed on United’s 737, 757, and 767 fleet is expected to save the airline more than $200 million per year in jet fuel costs.
United will begin retrofitting its 737-800 and 737-900 ER fleet with the new winglet beginning early next year, once testing and FAA certification of the winglets are complete.
Copyright Photo: United Airlines. Boeing 737-824 N37277 (msn 31595) makes history at Paine Field near Everett.
United Airlines (Chicago) has launched weekly nonstop service to St. Lucia from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub. The flights, which began on July 13, 2013, operate using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with 16 United Business seats, 48 United Economy Plus seats and 90 United Economy seats.
United flight UA 1642 departs Newark Liberty (EWR) on Saturdays at 8:55 a.m. (0855), arriving at the Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) in St. Lucia at 1:48 p.m. (1348). The return flight, United UA 1643, departs St. Lucia on Saturdays at 2:38 p.m. (1438), arriving in Newark at 7:33 p.m. (1933). The service provides convenient connections to and from 22 cities in the United States, including Chicago, Boston and Washington, as well as several Canadian cities.
St. Lucia, United’s 17th destination in the Caribbean.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N77261 (msn 31582) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) is planning to introduce the new Boeing 787-8 on the Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo (Narita) route on November 5, replacing the Boeing 777-200 ER currently operating on the route according to Airline Route. ANA also operates the 787 on the same route.
In other news, United is dropping the Newark-Buenos Aires route on September 29 per Airline Route. In addition, the Newark-Istanbul will be cancelled on October 26, 2013 (probably for the winter season).
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N20904 (msn 34824) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Guest Editor Marcelo F. De Biasi.
Flying the Dreamliner #06JUL13 – Welcome to tomorrow
This is a special one. As most out there, having seen the Dreamliner take shape all the way from the very beginning when the airplane was still dubbed 7E7 and looked more like a shark than an actual bird, being able to actually try out the plane that in a sense “we” got to build (remember when Boeing had extensive surveys in place online asking for customer/passenger feedback?) is nothing short of a dream come true. It’s only been a couple of months since I had the chance to see a Dreamliner live – years after its roll-out – and it certainly wasn’t easy finding a good and “cheap” flight that I could book without having to fly abroad. Nevertheless, it required some doing as I had to make my way all the way down to Houston (IAH) in order to see this through. Since the 787 was grounded at the beginning of the year, United Airlines (UA) stopped serving Newark (EWR) with the Dreamliner and didn’t reinstate the flight once the plane was put back into service in June. My options were to fly from IAH to either Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX) or Chicago (ORD). Chicago was the “cheaper” option I also wanted to connect at O’Hare International Airport and finally get to know United’s largest hub. And so my itinerary for a day and half of flying developed into LaGuardia (LGA)-Charlotte (CLT)-IAH (on US Airways on Friday evening), IAH-ORD (the actual Dreamliner flight on United) and finally, ORD-Washington Dulles (IAD)-New York (JFK) (also on United) – the last three flights all on Saturday. Quite an ordeal “just” to try out the Dreamliner. I’m sure a number of people think I’m nuts for doing this (admittedly, sometimes I am).
So, was it worth it? The answer is big fat YES. I would do it all over again. The Dreamliner sets new standards in flying. From a financial/operational efficiency standpoint there is little doubt that the 787 is a game changer and will remain largely unchallenged for some time – yes, the A350-900 has initiated its test flying program, but it is also slightly larger than the 787 and is in fact more in the size category of the 777-200/200ER (where the 787-10 will probably also steal the show now that it has been officially launched).
From a customer perspective, I can tell you that 787 is by far the best airplane in existence today. Its cabin is spacious, elegant, functional, and modern. The windows are larger in area than any other civil aircraft in-service or in development. Window shades no longer exist, these have been replaced with electrochromism-based smart glass that allow passengers (and flight attendants alike) to dim the light to their liking (five levels in total) – and this really works like a charm.
As if the extra spacious feeling in the cabin – unlike anything I’ve experienced on any other plane I’ve flown on so far – wasn’t enough, the more humid cabin is simply perfect. While you might not sense any immediate difference to another airplane, it’s when you connect onto another “normal” airplane afterwards that it hits you and you realize what a difference the cabin of the 787 makes. Quite astonishing. Now, I know that pretty much all of you have at least read about these advanced features – and some of you have already tried the Dreamliner out yourselves and will know what I’m talking about here – but, trust me when I say that Boeing and 787 customers are not exaggerating when they claim that the Dreamliner is tomorrow’s airplane, today.
Setting my “avgeek” mentality aside for a moment, as a regular passenger I would certainly opt for a Dreamliner flight in the future whenever an option is available, particularly if flying long-haul. It sounds a bit extreme, but in all fairness, this is how good of a passenger experience the Dreamliner offers its customers (of course, provided the airline which chooses to operate the 787 doesn’t fit the plane with a 28 inch pitch in Economy Class).
Last but not least, the Dreamliner is also incredibly quiet – almost as silent as the A380 (credit where it’s due).
I also need to say a little something about United. On my 787 flight between IAH and ORD, the onboard service was very good – it was noticeable that the crew was excited about their new “toy”. Nevertheless, only serving beverages (no spirits) on a 2 and a half hour flight in Economy Class (not even peanuts) is not really what you would expect of a traditional legacy carrier. In any case, overall it was a top notch job by the enthusiastic “Dreamliner crew”.
Please enjoy a few photos of the flight – and of that INCREDIBLE looking wing, truly a work of art – and a short video I took of the final approach into Chicago O’Hare Airport.
Video: Landing in ORD
By the way, in case any of you were wondering, the registration of the plane I flew was N27903 (msn 34823), delivered factory fresh to United on December 20, 2012.
Copyright Photos: Marcelo F. De Biasi. All rights reserved.
About the Guest Editor:
What’s there to say about me? I’m just your average “AvGeek”. Having been bitten by the aviation bug shortly after I was born – the first words to come out of my mouth were apparently “VARIG” -, some 11 years ago I decided to make the leap to aviation photography. Occasionally, I’ve also been known to write an article or two about aviation. Aside for my obvious love for aviation, I’m also a regular amateur photographer with a nag for history, international politics, branding & marketing, social media, philosophical questions, Formula 1 and quality hard & heavy rock. Last but not least, I also work for a major network carrier in Network Planning.
IN A NUTSHELL
I’m from: São Paulo, Brazil, currently residing in New York, United States
Favorite Airliner: Boeing 737 Series, Boeing 777 Series, Embraer 190 and 195, MD-11, Lockheed Electra II
Fascinating Airlines: Azul, AirAsia X, Copa Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Emirates, Lufthansa
Memorable Airports: SDU, CGH, HKG, ZRH, DCA, SSA
United Airlines‘ (Chicago) employees worldwide – including flight attendants, customer service agents, technical operations and ramp workers – begin wearing newly designed uniforms this week, the first time members of these work groups will wear similarly styled uniforms. More than 64,000 United employees will debut the garments, which feature accents of blue, gold, silver and gray.
United pilots will begin wearing newly designed uniforms later this year in the traditional midnight blue color with gold stripes and accents. Other uniform design concepts include:
- Flight Attendants: The uniform includes a core wardrobe of black trousers, skirts, sweaters, vests and blazers with two rows of silver braid on the sleeves. Female flight attendants will also wear sweaters, vests, short sleeve jackets and two styles of dresses, including a signature blue dress with a black stripe detail. Outerwear for male and female flight attendants includes a black all-season coat and an optional gray double-breasted wool coat.
- Customer Service Agents: The uniform includes a wardrobe of black blazers, trousers, sweaters, vests and skirts. Agents will also wear colored shirts and distinctive neckwear that vary depending on their job responsibilities.
- Ramp, Cargo and Technical Operations: The uniform offers flexibility, comfort and durability for year round comfort. Employees will wear work shirts, polo shirts and T-shirts made with breathable and flexible fabric. The pants, shorts and coveralls for both men and women feature a soft, brushed fabric. Outerwear for ramp, cargo and technical operations workers includes a three-piece system consisting of a zip-up fleece-lined vest, jacket and waterproof outer shell. The uniform also includes waterproof wind pants, hooded sweatshirts, baseball caps and knit caps.
Copyright Photos: United Airlines.
United Airlines‘ (Chicago) Boeing 787-8 flying from Houston (Bush Intercontinental) to Denver yesterday (June 23) as flight UA 94 was forced to divert and land at another airport because of a break warning light. This became the third 787 diversion in the past week according to ABC 7 News in Denver.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersgGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) lines up to land at Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) and Airbus (Toulouse) have announced that the airline will add 35 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to its future fleet. The agreement between the companies represents a conversion of the U.S. carrier’s previous order for 25 A350-900s to the -1000 model, as well as the addition of 10 more orders for A350-1000 aircraft. The announcement was made today during the Paris Air Show.
The A350-1000 is the largest version of the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family and typically seats 350 passengers in a three-class layout. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop and will be operated by United on higher density routes, including non-stop flights between the United States and the Asia/Pacific region. The aircraft will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering 97,000lbs of thrust – the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.
The A350 XWB is an all-new mid-size long range product line featuring three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The aircraft will bring new levels of efficiency to the mid-size market, using 25 per cent less fuel than existing aircraft in this size category and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions.
The first A350 XWB began an extensive flight test program last Friday, June 14th. Entry into commercial service of the first customer aircraft is scheduled for the second half of 2014.
To date, Airbus has recorded 678 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 34 customers worldwide.
The increased seating capacity of the A350-1000 will enable United to replace older, less efficient aircraft currently serving long-range, high-demand markets. United expects delivery starting in 2018.
The Airbus order supports United’s commitment to improve the overall efficiency of its fleet. On Tuesday, the airline announced an order for 10 Boeing 787-10 aircraft and conversion of 10 existing 787 orders to the -10 variant, making United’s total Dreamliner order book 65. In July of last year, United announced a narrowbody order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and 50 Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft. The airline is also modernizing its United Express fleet by adding seventy 76-seat Embraer aircraft that will be operated by regional partners.
Top Image: Airbus.
Video: Here is the second flight of the Airbus A350 at Toulouse:
Bottom Image: United.
United Airlines (Chicago) reported one of its Boeing 787s on the Tokyo-Denver route was diverted to Seattle/Tacoma after an oil filter in an engine warning light. The aircraft landed safely. This diversion is not related to any battery issue.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Boeing launches the 787-10, ALC, GECAS, IAG-British Airways, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines place orders
Boeing (Chicago) announced today at the 2013 Paris Airshow that it has launched the 787-10 Dreamliner, the third member of the super-efficient 787 family. Commitments for 102 airplanes from five customers across Europe, Asia and North America provide a strong foundation to support development and production of the newest Dreamliner.
Customer launch commitments for the 787-10 include Air Lease Corporation, with 30 airplanes; GE Capital Aviation Services, with 10; International Airlines Group / British Airways, with 12 subject to shareholder approval; Singapore Airlines, with 30 and United Airlines, with 20 airplanes.
The new 787-10 will fly up to 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 km) — covering more than 90 percent of the world’s twin-aisle routes — with seating for 300-330 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. The second member of the family, the 787-9, is in final assembly in Everett, Wash., and is set to make its first flight later this year.
“The 787-10 Dreamliner will be the most-efficient jetliner in history. The airplane’s operating economics are unmatched and it has all the incredible passenger-pleasing features that set the 787 family apart as truly special,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “The 787-10 is 25 percent more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10 percent better than anything being offered by the competition for the future.”
Design of the 787-10 has already started at Boeing, and international partners will be involved in detailed design in the months ahead. Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.
“Our ongoing investment in the 787 family is well-founded,” said Conner. “With the 787-10, we’ve designed an exceptional airplane supported by an efficient and integrated production system that can meet increasing demands and create new opportunities for us. Our team and our customers are excited about growing the product line and expanding our presence with this family of airplanes.”
The 787 family’s unique interior offers passengers technologies that make their flights more enjoyable, including large, dimmable windows; cleaner air; higher humidity; lower cabin altitude; bigger stowage bins; soothing LED lighting and a smoother ride. The 787-10 will share a common type rating not only with the 787-8 and 787-9 but also with the popular Boeing 777, giving airlines additional flexibility in scheduling and training flight crews.
United Airlines issued this statement:
United Airlines today increased its 787 Dreamliner order to 65 aircraft (including six previously delivered aircraft) with an order for 20 787-10s.United is the North American launch customer for the 787-10 and it expects delivery of its first aircraft in 2018. United ordered 10 incremental 787-10 aircraft and will convert 10 existing 787s on order to 787-10s, enabling the airline to further modernize its international widebody fleet by replacing older, less efficient aircraft. The advanced technology and composite construction of the 787 reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions, while providing a superior customer experience.
United is currently the only U.S. airline to operate the 787. United has six new 787-8 aircraft in service and had previous orders for an additional 49 Dreamliners consisting of both the -8 and -9 variants. The 787-10 is a stretched version of the 787-9 and will offer the lowest fuel burn per seat of any aircraft in its size category. The 787 offers up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than similarly sized aircraft, due in part to the more than 50 percent composite makeup of its structure. The 787 also boasts an enhanced inflight experience including larger windows, larger overhead bins and lower cabin altitude with enhanced ventilation systems that reduce the effects of jet lag.
The 787-10 order is the latest in United’s commitment to improve the efficiency of its fleet. In July of last year, United announced a narrowbody order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and 50 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. In addition, United has an order for 25 Airbus A350 aircraft. The airline is also modernizing its United Express fleet by adding 70 76-seat Embraer aircraft that will be operated by United Express regional partners.
Aviation Partners Boeing launches 737-900 ER Split Scimitar Winglets with order from United Airlines
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) (Seattle) has announced it has formally launched the 737-900 ER (Extended Range) Split Scimitar Winglet program with an order from United Airlines (Chicago). Using a newly patented design, the program will consist of retrofitting existing Boeing Next-Generation 737 Blended Winglets by replacing the aluminum winglet tip cap with a new aerodynamically shaped “Scimitar” TM winglet tip cap and by adding a new Scimitar tipped Ventral Strake.
In January 2013, APB launched the Split Scimitar Winglet program for the provisioned 737-800 with an order from United Airlines. FAA supplemental type certification for the Boeing 737-800 is targeted for October of this year with EASA certification planned within the following two months. Certification flight testing of Split Scimitar Winglets on the 737-900ER will follow closely behind and is scheduled to begin in November with FAA supplemental type certification targeted for late February 2014.
APB is targeting 6 additional Boeing Next-Generation 737 configurations for possible certification; these include: the structurally provisioned (line number 1545 and on) and non-provisioned (pre-line number 1545) 737-700 and BBJ1, the non-provisioned (pre-line number 778) 737-800, and the structurally provisioned (line number 778 and on) 737-900.
“United Airlines continues to lead the way in adapting its fleet to be as fuel efficient and eco-friendly as possible,” said Aviation Partners Boeing executive vice president and chief commercial officer Patrick LaMoria. “United’s relentless drive to improvefuel efficiency is the perfect complement to APB’s focus on continuous innovation. We are once again very excited to launch another new program with United.”
“We are always looking for opportunities to improve the fuel efficiency of our fleet. The Next-Generation 737 Split Scimitar Winglet will provide a natural hedge against rising fuel prices while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions,” said Ron Baur, United’s vice president of fleet. “We are pleased to build on our commitment to the Split Scimitar Winglet as the launch customer for the new 737-900ER winglet program and appreciate APB’s focus in helping United become even more fuel efficient.”
APB expects Split Scimitar Winglet Systems installed on a Boeing 737-900ER to save United Airlines over 57,000 gallons of jet fuel per aircraft per year resulting in a corresponding reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of over 600 tons per aircraft per year. The fuel savings can enable a 737-900ER to increase its payload up to 3,300 pounds or increase its range up to 60 nautical miles. APB also expects to certify an improvement in low speed performance that will generate significant take-off benefits from high/hot or obstacle limited runways.
Nearly 5,000 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide more than 3.7 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date.
Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
Copyright Photos: Aviation Partners Boeing.
United Airlines (Chicago) now features 180-degree flat-bed seats and personal on-demand entertainment in the premium cabins on all scheduled, long-haul international flights from the airline’s eight North American hubs and between Seattle/Tacoma and Tokyo (Narita).
United has outfitted 183 international long-haul aircraft with United Global First and United BusinessFirst cabins, and offers more than 7,000 total flat-bed seats fleet-wide, more than any other U.S. carrier. Customers in the premium cabins receive a higher level of privacy and comfort, a multi-course meal with complimentary wine options and more-personal attention.
United recently launched turn-down service for customers seated in United Global First, offering travelers an added touch of luxury and a better sleeping experience on long-haul flights.
In addition to offering customers more flat-bed seats on more aircraft than any other U.S. carrier, United currently provides extra-legroom Economy Plus seating on nearly 650 mainline aircraft and approximately 150 regional jets.
United is also revamping the transcontinental ”p.s.” Premium Service fleet of aircraft that fly between New York Kennedy and Los Angeles and San Francisco. Customers traveling on the revamped p.s. aircraft will experience an improved premium cabin with fully flat-bed seats, faster Wi-Fi Internet service, and personal on-demand entertainment at every seat. The fourth p.s. aircraft to be retrofitted enters service this month, and United anticipates completing the entire p.s. fleet by year-end.
United is also outfitting aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi, offering inflight connectivity on long-haul international flights. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft outfitted with satellite Wi-Fi before the end of the year.
United recently deployed the 200th aircraft with live television, giving United the world’s largest fleet of aircraft equipped with live television.
Copyright Photo: Michael Stappen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-224 WL N18119 (msn 27561) arrives at Amsterdam.
United Airlines (Chicago) yesterday (June 10) re-launched international service on the 787 Dreamliner with the inaugural flight from the airline’s hub in Denver to Tokyo-Narita International Airport. The daily flight marks the Mile High City’s first nonstop connection to Asia, a highly anticipated milestone in Denver’s history.
Flight UA 139 departs Denver daily at 12:35 p.m. (1235) and arrives at Tokyo-Narita International Airport at 3:30 p.m. (1530) the next day. For the return, Flight UA 138 departs Tokyo at 5:25 p.m. (1725) and arrives in Denver at 1:15 p.m. (1315) the same day. (All times are local.)
Together with its joint venture partner ANA, United will offer seamless connections at Narita to or from more than 18 destinations in Asia, including important business and trade destinations like Seoul, South Korea, Bangkok and Singapore.
United is the 787 North American launch customer and now has six Dreamliners in its fleet. Theairline has 55 Dreamliners on order and expects to take delivery of two more from Boeing in the second half of 2013.
In addition to the Tokyo route, United in the past year added nine new Denver routes, including flights to emerging energy markets like Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, and Dickinson, N.D. Other new destinations United serves from Denver include Santa Fe, N.M., and St. George, Utah. United also recently increased the frequency of service from Denver to Mexico.
United offers more flights to more destinations worldwide from Denver than any other airline, with more than 400 peak day departures to 126 destinations throughout the year. United flies to over 60 more cities than the next largest carrier at Denver International Airport.
United is one of Denver’s largest private employers, with nearly 5,000 employees who proudly call Denver home. United celebrated the airline’s 75th anniversary of service to Denver last year with the announcement it would begin service to Tokyo.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United 787s are configured with 36 seats in United BusinessFirst, 70 seats in United Economy Plus and 113 seats in United Economy. Boeing 787-8 N26906 (msn 34829) climbs gracefully away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) without any fanfare or publicity retired two classic Boeing types again in late May according to Airline Business. Former Continental Airlines Boeing 737-524 N62631 (msn 27535) operated the last Boeing 737-500 flight (UA 1705) between Cleveland and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) on May 30.
Additionally Boeing 767-224 ER N68159 (msn 30438) operated the last 767-200 flight between Munich and Newark on May 27.
Ironically United had previously retired both types but inherited both types again when the Continental fleet was merged. The 737-500 was previously retired on August 27, 2009 and the 767-200 on March 28, 2005.
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. N62631 when it was with Continental Airlines.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 767-224 ER N73152 (msn 30431) lands at Zurich.
Do you want to pay an annual subscription to check your bags? United Airlines is the first U.S. airline to offer this service
United is the only U.S. carrier to offer an annual subscription for its extra-legroom economy seating and checked baggage service charges. Terms and conditions apply to each of the offers, which can be found at www.united.com/subscriptions, and the subscriptions may be given as gifts.
Travelers may access Economy Plus for a year starting at $499, and customers can select the region and the number of travelers on their subscription.
Economy Plus seats offer customers additional legroom to stretch out and relax. United offers more extra-legroom economy seating than any other U.S. airline, with Economy Plus available on most of the airline’s nearly 700 mainline aircraft and nearly 180 United Express aircraft. Economy Plus seating, when available, remains complimentary for Premier-level MileagePlus members.
United’s checked baggage subscription enables customers to pre-pay standard checked baggage charges for one year, starting at $349. Customers may tailor their subscription by choosing up to two bags, the number of travelers and preferred geographic region.
Additionally, customers may now use MileagePlus miles to purchase an annual United Club membership, which currently offers access to the 49 United Club locations, as well as Copa Club locations and participating Star Alliance affiliated airport clubs worldwide.
One-year membership pricing starts at $500 or 65,000 miles for general MileagePlus members, with discounts for Premier members. An initiation fee of $50 or 7,000 miles applies for all new United Club memberships.
In other news, United Airlines today executed a definitive purchase agreement with AltAir Fuels for cost-competitive, sustainable, advanced biofuels at commercial scale, representing a historic milestone for aviation. With United’s strategic partnership, AltAir Fuels will retrofit part of an existing petroleum refinery to become a 30 million gallon, advanced biofuel refinery near Los Angeles, Calif. AltAir will produce low-carbon, renewable jet fuel and other renewable products. United has collaborated with AltAir Fuels since 2009 and has agreed to buy 15 million gallons of lower-carbon, renewable jet fuel over a three-year period, with the option to purchase more. The airline is purchasing the advanced biofuel at a price competitive with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel, and AltAir expects to begin delivering five million gallons of renewable jet fuel per year to United starting in 2014. United will use the biofuel on flights operating out of its Los Angeles hub (LAX).
AltAir has partnered with an existing oil refiner for the operation of its first commercial facility and use of the refiner’s existing refinery near Los Angeles, Calif. This partnership is taking idled refining equipment and retooling it to increase the nation’s energy supply – positively impacting the southern California economy and providing the opportunity to sustainably power LAX flights.
Through process technology developed by Honeywell’s UOP, AltAir is retrofitting the existing refinery to produce renewable biofuel. AltAir has worked extensively with Honeywell’s UOP to demonstrate the commercial viability of the Honeywell Green Jet process. Utilizing this technology, licensed from UOP, the AltAir facility will be the first refinery internationally to be capable of in-line production of both renewable jet and diesel fuels. The facility will convert non-edible natural oils and agricultural wastes into approximately 30 million gallons of low-carbon, advanced biofuels and chemicals per year.
These advanced biofuels are drop-in replacements for petroleum-based fuel, requiring no modification to factory-standard engines or aircraft, with which they are fully compatible. This fuel provides the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based jet fuel. AltAir Fuels’ renewable jet fuel is expected to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.
“This refinery is important for two timely and significant reasons,” said AltAir’s President and COO Bryan Sherbacow . “First, the industry is delivering on the promise of commercial production of advanced biofuels that move beyond additives, like ethanol and biodiesel, to drop-in, replacement low-carbon fuels. Second, this project demonstrates the practical efficiencies these fuels allow by fully integrating into an operating petroleum refinery.”
United will support AltAir Fuels’ efforts to incorporate internationally recognized sustainability standards, such as those being developed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). RSB is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together farmers, companies, non-governmental organizations, experts, governments and inter-governmental agencies concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomass production and processing.
In 2009, United Airlines made history as the first North American carrier to perform a two-engine aircraft flight demonstration using sustainable biofuels derived from algae and jatropha. United also operated the first flight by a North American commercial airline using synthetic fuel made from natural gas in 2010.
In November 2011, United operated the first U.S. commercial flight powered by advanced biofuels. Flight 1403 departedHouston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, making United the first U.S. airline to fly passengers using a blend of sustainable, advanced biofuel and traditional petroleum-derived jet fuel.
In June 2012, United, along with the Boeing Company, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust, launched the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI). MASBI is an effort by more than 40 organizations across the aviation biofuels supply chain to accelerate the commercialization of advanced biofuels in the Midwest.
United Airlines is a signatory to the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, whose members represent approximately 32 percent of commercial aviation fuel demand. United signed a pledge to pursue the advancement of drop-in biofuels that achieve important sustainability criteria, work with leading organizations to achieve biofuel certification standards and take actions to enable commercial use of aviation biofuels.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N538UA (msn 25222) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) today will celebrate the 25thanniversary of the airline’s Terminal C hub facility at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Travelers arriving and departing at Newark Liberty today will join United employees in an anniversary celebrationbetween 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the upper level United Airlines ticket counter, where customers will have opportunities to earn prizes, travel discounts and bonus MileagePlus miles, and see the airline’s new uniforms for the first time. The airline is also setting up a temporary exhibit during the two-hour period demonstrating how air travel has evolved since 1988.
Map of Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey).
“We are pleased to celebrate United’s long history at our Newark hub - a premier global gateway and a powerful economic engine,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We continue to make investments in our terminal facilities, our services and our people to ensure United’s Terminal C remains a great place for our customers and co-workers.”
“Thanks to the Port Authority’s strong partnership with United, Newark Liberty has become not only a world-class airport but also an important driver of economic growth, jobs and development for the entire region,” said Port AuthorityChairman David Samson. “The continued investment in Newark Liberty’s facilities will ensure that the airport, and Terminal C specifically, remains a modern, premier gateway for travelers.”
As part of the event, Smisek will outline the airline’s plans for further investments at Terminal C, including:
- a redesign of the airline’s check-in facilities
- installation in gate areas of flight-information displays that offer customers more detailed information about their flights
- construction of a widebody maintenance hangar that economic development officials anticipate will drive $52 million in economic activity in the region
- a new checked-baggage screening system.
- Nearly two dozen United pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents and ramp workers will participate in an in-terminal fashion show that will debut the new uniforms that United employees worldwide will wear beginning onJune 25. This is the first time that all employees at the new United will wear the same uniforms.
- Buddy Valastro, co-owner of the Hoboken, N.J. bakery Carlo’s Bakery and star of the TLC program “Cake Boss,” will join the program to present a cake made specifically for the occasion.
- At 1:15 p.m., the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to fly from any of the three New York-area airports since the aircraft re-entered service will depart for Houston.
- This afternoon, United will send photos of iconic locations throughout Manhattan via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, meeting up with the company’s friends and followers in social media.
United in New York/Newark: The Hub for Wall Street
With more than 13,000 local employees, United is the New York area’s largest airline, offering more flights and more seats from the region to more destinations around the world than any other airline in history.
Since the first flight from Terminal C - the 6:15 a.m. departure of Continental flight 839 to Denver from gate 72 on the morning of May 22, 1988 - flights to and from the facility have enabled investment and economic development for theNew York metropolitan area, including Newark. In 1988, Continental offered service to 57 airports from Newark Airport.United today offers more than 400 flights each day from Newark Liberty to more than 150 destinations in North andSouth America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, giving New York-area travelers more flights and more destinations via United and United Express than any other airline.
Newark Liberty’s location and rail links make it the most convenient hub airport for travelers originating in north and central New Jersey, parts of New York City including Wall Street, and southern New York State.
The airline also offers New York-area travelers more flat beds in premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy seats than any other airline. In addition, the airline boasts:
- the most saver-style award seats for frequent flyers among the largest U.S. global carriers, according to the 4thannual Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey published this month by IdeaWorksCompany.
- more aircraft offering satellite Wi-Fi and live television than any other U.S. airline.
Terminal C History
Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 737 and the pictured 727-200 were the mainstay aircraft in the PEOPLExpress fleet. Former Braniff Boeing 727-227 N553PE (msn 20774) poses for the camera at Chicago (O’Hare).
In 1985, People Express Airlines (PEOPLExpress) and the Port Authority agreed to remodel the existing Terminal C facility. After its 1987 mergers with Peoplexpress and New York Air (New York), which itself had a large Newark presence, Continental Airlines completed the terminal redevelopment project in conjunction with the Port Authority.
Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. The New York Air operation is pictured at nearby LaGuardia Airport.
In 2001, Continental Airlines (Houston) opened the Global Gateway, a $3.8 billion public-private partnership. The centerpiece of that project was the third concourse in Terminal C, “C-3,” designed to be bright and airy with gates constructed to enable international travelers to arrive at Terminal C - rather than solely at Terminal B - adding convenience and quicker connections.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Continental’s McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 N68046 (msn 47800) in the 1984 livery.
The Global Gateway also introduced the only rail station at a New York-area airport located in close proximity to the terminals, enabling Newark Liberty travelers direct AirTrain rail access to New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia.
Continental and the Port Authority also outfitted Terminal C with new roadways, parking garages, expanded electronic ticketing facilities, new terminal designs to facilitate more efficient security screening and an automated baggage handling system.
Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines. Crew members showcase the new uniforms.
Route Map: How the Newark Hub has grown (click on the map for the full-size view):
SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines) (St. George) announced today that it has entered into a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with United Airlines, Inc. (Chicago) to operate 40 new Embraer 175 (ERJ 175) dual-class regional jet aircraft. The CPA with United has a term of 12 years and SkyWest will operate under terms and conditions similar to its existing agreements with United.
SkyWest has determined that these 40 regional jet aircraft will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (St. George), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest. Under the agreement, it is anticipated that the 40 aircraft will be introduced into service in the second quarter of 2014, with deliveries continuing to mid-2015. The aircraft will be configured with 76-seats in dual-class.
SkyWest, Inc. also announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Embraer for the purchase of 100 new Embraer 175 dual-class regional jet aircraft. Of the 100 aircraft, 40 are considered firm deliveries and the remaining 60 aircraft are considered conditional until SkyWest enters into capacity purchase agreements with other major airlines to operate the aircraft. Deliveries for the 40 firm aircraft are anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2014 and continue through mid 2015. The aircraft will be configured in 76 seats in dual-class. The agreement also includes options for an additional 100 ERJ 175 aircraft and would be valued at $8.3 billion if all 200 aircraft are ordered. The initial 40 firm aircraft outlined above will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc.
SkyWest management believes reaching this agreement brings to conclusion a thorough process that also included the negotiation of support and long-term maintenance agreements that will enable SkyWest to efficiently manage the operating costs of the new aircraft. SkyWest management also believes it has developed an industry-leading agreement that will allow SkyWest to offer competitive benefits to its major partners.
Image: United Airlines.
Video: A SkyWest pilot shows the views from the cockpit:
Current Routes operated for United Airlines by SkyWest Airlines (click on the map for full-size view):
United Airlines (Chicago) as planned welcomed back its Boeing 787 today with the re-launch of commercial service from the airline’s hub in Houston (Bush Intercontinental). United’s flight UA 1 departure from Houston Intercontinental at 11 a.m. to Chicago O’Hare marked the return of regular service using the world’s most advanced and efficient aircraft on domestic and international routes.
United will operate additional Dreamliner flights on routes from Houston to other domestic hubs this week, and the airline will launch international 787 service on the much-anticipated Denver-Tokyo route on June 10. This summer United also plans to inaugurate 787 service on existing routes including Houston-London, Los Angeles-Tokyo, Los Angeles-Shanghai and Houston-Lagos.
The airline expects to take delivery of two more Dreamliners from Boeing in the second half of 2013.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com.
United Airlines (Chicago) announced today that it will begin daily flights from its hub at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on November 5, 2013.
The flight will depart Chicago at 8:20 a.m. (0820), arriving in San Juan at 2:57 p.m. (1457). The return flight will depart San Juan at 3:55 p.m. (1555) and arrive in Chicago at 7:13 p.m. (1913). The route will be operated with Boeing 737-900 aircraft with seating for 20 in United First, 51 in Economy Plus and 96 in Economy. The airline also announced that it will add a second daily flight for the holiday season from December 4 – January 5, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Boeing 737-924 ER N75429 (msn 30130) prepares to land at Los Angeles.
United Airlines (Chicago) has equipped its 200th aircraft with live television, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.
United currently offers live television on most Boeing 737 aircraft and on many of its Boeing 757-300 aircraft. In addition to live news, sports and family entertainment, customers may enjoy up to eight newly released movies a month. The service is complimentary for customers in United First and available for purchase in United Economy starting at $5.99 and varying depending on the length of flight.
Live television-equipped aircraft also feature power outlets in United First and United Economy Plus, enabling customers to charge their cell phones, laptops, e-readers and other mobile devices.
The expansion of live television on United aircraft comes as the airline continues to invest in its onboard products.
United offers personal on-demand entertainment for premium-cabin and economy-cabin customers on the majority of its long-haul international aircraft, providing hundreds of hours of movies, television programs, music and games. Additionally, United is:
- Installing satellite Wi-Fi. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft equipped with the service by the end of 2013.
- Adding flat-bed seating on all of the airline’s long-haul international aircraft. United currently offers more flat-bed seating than any other U.S. carrier.
- Introducing flat-bed seats on its transcontinental ‘p.s.’ Premium Service, offering a revamped premium cabin, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports. The airline expects to complete the reconfiguration of p.s. aircraft by the end of the year.
- Adding extra-legroom Economy Plus seating. The airline currently offers Economy Plus seating on nearly 650 mainline aircraft and approximately 150 regional jets.
- Nearly doubling the overhead storage space on more than 150 Airbus aircraft, with more than half of those retrofits completed.
- Implementing streaming wireless video onboard its Boeing 747-400 aircraft beginning later this year.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 757-33N N57864 (msn 32588) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) is now planning to resume Boeing 787-8 scheduled passenger operations on May 20 between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Chicago (O’Hare) as flight UA 1. Houston-Denver flight start on the following day. United is first re-introducing the grounded type on its relatively short domestic flights as the first phase of the resumption before it restores longer international routes.
Boeing has already converted two of United’s six Dreamliners to the new FAA standards and will soon convert the remainder of United’s fleet. The airline has scheduled flights to begin on May 20 on routes from Houston to other domestic hubs. United will begin international 787 flying on the Denver-Tokyo route on June 10.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 787-8 N20904 (msn 34824) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced an agreement to add 30 Embraer ERJ 175 regional jets to the United Express fleet. Under an agreement with Embraer, United will purchase the aircraft with deliveries in 2014 and 2015. These aircraft will be operated by a United Express partner to be announced later.
United also secured options for 40 additional aircraft.
The Embraer ERJ 175 is the first 76-seat regional jet aircraft in the United Express fleet. The aircraft will be configured with 12 United First, 16 Economy Plus and 48 United Economy seats. The design of the aircraft will result in more personal space for customers with wider seats and aisles than those on the 50-seat aircraft. The aircraft can accommodate standard carry-on bags, resulting in more convenience for customers.
As United inducts the new aircraft into the United Express fleet, the company will remove some of the older 50-seat regional jets in the fleet. The E175s will consume 10 percent less fuel per seat and will have less CO2 emissions per seat than the 50-seat aircraft they replace.
Shuttle America currently operates 38 Embraer ERJ 170s for United Airlines.
Image: United Airlines.
United Airlines (Chicago) yesterday (April 26) launched daily nonstop service from San Francisco to Paris (CDG).
Flight UA 990 departs San Francisco daily at 2:45 p.m. (1445) and arrives at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 10:45 a.m. (1045) the next day. For the return, flight UA 991 departs Paris at 10:05 a.m. (1005) and arrives in San Francisco at 1 p.m. (1300) the same day. (All times are local.)
United operates this new service with Boeing 767-300 aircraft, which offer 30 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst, 49 seats in United Economy Plus and 135 seats in United Economy. The BusinessFirst cabin includes 15.4-inch touchscreen monitors for personal on-demand entertainment, electrical and USB outlets, iPod jacks and five-course meals with fine wines. Seats in Economy Plus offer customers more legroom to stretch out and relax. Each seat in United Economy features a 9-inch touchscreen with personal on-demand entertainment, and all rows include access to electrical outlets.
San Francisco is United’s largest West Coast hub. With approximately 9,000 employees in the Bay Area, United offers nearly 300 flights a day from San Francisco International Airport, more than any other airline, including nearly 30 daily nonstop flights to more than 15 international destinations.
United also operates an extensive maintenance center at San Francisco International Airport, where the airline’s technicians are completing a multi-year project to upgrade the airline’s cabins with new interiors, flat-bed seats and personal on-demand entertainment in United Global First and United BusinessFirst, and new entertainment systems for customers in United Economy. United’s San Francisco-based technicians are also outfitting the airline’s fleet with satellite Wi-Fi.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. Boeing 767-322 ER N668UA (msn 30024) with Blended Winglets is tugged at the San Francisco hub.
United Airlines (Chicago) today reported a first-quarter 2013 net loss of $325 million, or $0.98 per share, excluding $92 million of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported a first-quarter 2013 net loss of $417 million, or $1.26 per share.
- The company achieved its best first-quarter on-time performance in a decade, with 81.0 percent of mainline flights, including both domestic and international flights, arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.
- UAL’s first-quarter 2013 consolidated passenger revenue increased 0.7 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 4.9 percent. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2012.
- First-quarter 2013 consolidated unit costs (CASM), holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant and excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 7.2 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 4.9 percent. First-quarter 2013 consolidated CASM increased 6.5 percent year-over-year.
- UAL ended the first quarter with $6.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity.
“Our co-workers pulled together in the first quarter to significantly improve our operational performance and customer service despite challenging weather and high load factors, and I want to thank them for their hard work,” said Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Although this was a difficult quarter financially, I’m very proud of our team.”
First-Quarter Revenue and Capacity
For the first quarter of 2013, total revenue was $8.7 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent year-over-year. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 0.7 percent to $7.6 billion, compared to the same period in 2012.
Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased 1.2 percent on a consolidated capacity (available seat miles) decrease of 4.9 percent year-over-year for the first quarter. First-quarter 2013 consolidated load factor was 81.1 percent, an increase of 3.0 points versus the first quarter of 2012.
First-quarter 2013 consolidated PRASM increased 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Consolidated yield for the first quarter of 2013 increased 1.9 percent year-over-year.
Mainline RPMs in the first quarter of 2013 decreased 1.6 percent on a mainline capacity decrease of 5.0 percent year-over-year, resulting in a first-quarter mainline load factor of 81.4 percent. Mainline yield for the first quarter of 2013 increased 1.3 percent compared to the same period in 2012. First-quarter 2013 mainline PRASM increased 5.0 percent year-over-year.
“We are encouraged by our unit revenue performance this quarter, and we are working hard to build on our overall revenue progress this year,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “My co-workers’ continued focus on our operational performance and customer service directly contributed to our improved revenue results.”
Passenger revenue for the first quarter of 2013 and period-to-period comparisons of related statistics for UAL’s mainline and regional operations are as follows:
|1Q 2013PassengerRevenue (millions)||Passenger Revenue vs.1Q 2012||PRASM vs. 1Q 2012||Yield vs. 1Q 2012||Available Seat Miles vs.
Year-over-year cargo and other revenue in the first quarter of 2013 increased 6.2 percent, or $68 million, to $1.2 billion.
First-quarter total operating expenses increased $112 million, or 1.3 percent, year-over-year. Third-party business expense was $121 million in the first quarter.
Consolidated and mainline CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 6.8 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012. First-quarter consolidated and mainline CASM, including special charges, increased 6.5 and 7.9 percent year-over-year, respectively.
In the first quarter, consolidated and mainline CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense and holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant, increased 7.2 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, compared to the results for the same period in 2012.
“We are focused companywide on operating more efficiently. Moreover, we are building an infrastructure to achieve our return-on-invested-capital goals and generate long-term returns,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our balance sheet is the healthiest it’s been in years, and that benefits everyone—co-workers, customers and investors.”
Liquidity, Cash Flow and Return on Invested Capital
UAL ended the quarter with $6.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under its new revolving credit facility. During the first quarter, the company generated $393 million of operating cash flow and had gross capital expenditures and purchase deposits of $526 million. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $1.3 billion in the first quarter, including $1.0 billion of prepayments. The company’s return on invested capital for the 12 months ended March 31, 2013, was 8.0 percent, below the company’s goal of 10 percent.
First-Quarter 2013 Events
- United Airlines achieved a U.S. Department of Transportation first-quarter domestic on-time arrival rate of 81.4 percent, exceeding 80 percent in each month of the quarter. For international flights, United recorded an on-time arrival rate of 79.7 percent for the quarter. The on-time arrival rates are based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time. This was the best first-quarter on-time performance for the carrier in a decade.
- United co-workers earned cash incentive payments totaling $22 million for on-time performance during the first quarter.
- Co-workers earned $4.4 million for reaching the company’s customer-satisfaction target for the first quarter, as measured through online surveys of MileagePlus members flying United and United Express. United also awarded $125,000 to select employees of United and United Express for excellence in customer service as part of the company’s Outperform Recognition Program.
- United continued its comprehensive customer service training program for all customer-facing agents and flight attendants worldwide, and nearly 13,000 co-workers completed the training in the first quarter.
- During the first quarter, United replaced its $1.2 billion term loan due 2014 with a new $900 million term loan due 2019, and reduced the principal balance by $300 million in the process. Simultaneously, United entered into a new $1.0 billion revolving credit facility due 2018 that replaced the company’s $500 million undrawn revolving credit facility due 2015, bolstering the company’s unrestricted liquidity position.
- The company pre-paid $400 million of its 9.875 percent Senior Secured Notes and $200 million of its 12.0 percent Senior Second Lien Notes during the first quarter.
- United broke ground on a new widebody aircraft maintenance hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport and is constructing a new maintenance hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport, boosting United’s maintenance capabilities on the East Coast. The company signed a 10-year lease extension on its Maintenance Operations Center at San Francisco International Airport, United’s largest maintenance facility.
- United opened the airline’s new employee health clinic at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, offering convenient on-site health services to co-workers at no charge.
- The company took delivery of six Boeing 737-900ERs and removed from service three Boeing 737-500s and two Boeing 757-200s.
- The company reached an agreement to sell up to 30 Boeing 757-200 aircraft to FedEx.
- During the quarter, the company expanded its industry-leading global route network, launching new nonstop service to Nassau, Bahamas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Oklahoma City, Okla. United also added two new cities to its network, Fayetteville, N.C., and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The company announced future new nonstop markets, including the company’s first nonstop service to Dickinson, N.D., as well as additional service to Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Anchorage, Alaska; Traverse City, Mich.; and Charleston, S.C. The airline also announced it will resume nonstop daily service from Chicago to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- United relaunched the Premier Access program offering customers access to expedited check-in and security checkpoint lanes along with priority boarding.
- United launched a new baggage delivery option, enabling customers to have their checked bags delivered directly to their final destinations and skip baggage claim upon arrival. The airline will expand the service to more than 190 domestic airports in the coming months.
- The company unveiled a new lounge standard at its United Club in Terminal 2 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the first to feature a new design that the airline will use when building and renovating lounges worldwide. The airline is investing more than $50 million to renovate many of its United Clubs, with three more United Clubs to be renovated this year.
- The carrier introduced its first reconfigured transcontinental “p.s.,” Premium Service, aircraft equipped with flat-bed seats, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports. United offers p.s. on all nonstop flights between New York Kennedy and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
- The company ramped up installation of global satellite-based Wi-Fi on its mainline fleet and currently offers satellite-based Wi-Fi on 38 of its aircraft, becoming the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer customers the ability to stay connected while traveling on long-haul overseas routes.
- United introduced a new application for Windows Phone 8 users. With the launch of the Windows app, United is now available on all mobile platforms, including iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
- The company continued to install flat-bed seats in premium cabins on its international fleet and now has more than 7,000 new flat-bed seats on 182 aircraft, more than any other U.S. carrier. In addition, Economy Plus is now available on nearly all of United’s mainline fleet.
- UAL merged its two operating subsidiaries, United and Continental, into a single operating entity, United, on March 31, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. The Continental Airlines name is being kept alive with this United Airlines’ Boeing 737-924 ER WL N75436 (msn 33531) painted in Continental’s 1947 Blue Skyway retrojet scheme.