United Airlines reports its third quarter results

United's first Boeing 737-9 MAX 9

United Airlines (UAL) today announced its third-quarter 2018 financial results, reporting third-quarter net income of $836 million, diluted earnings per share of $3.06, pre-tax earnings of $1.1 billion and pre-tax margin of 9.6 percent. Tropical storms across the system are estimated to have reduced diluted earnings per share by approximately $0.07. Third-quarter diluted earnings per share increased 42 percent year-over-year. The company recaptured approximately 100 percent of its year-over-year fuel expense increase in the third quarter.

“Our stand-out third-quarter performance, which produced double-digit revenue growth as we more than offset the steep increase in fuel costs, is proof that United is building momentum,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. “Our growth plan has been essential to our success, and we’re more confident than ever we’ll achieve the ambitious adjusted earnings per share1 target of $11 to $13 we laid out for 2020.”

  • UAL reported third-quarter adjusted net income of $837 million, adjusted diluted earnings per share of $3.06, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $1.1 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 9.7 percent.2 Third-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 36 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 6.1 percent year-over-year, above the high end of the company’s third-quarter 2018 guidance range of up 4 percent to 6 percent.
  • Consolidated unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 6.4 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.4 percent year-over-year.
  • UAL’s mid-continent hubs in Chicago, Denver and Houston had year-over-year capacity growth of 9.7 percent in the third quarter and led the system in unit revenue growth performance in the quarter.
  • UAL now expects full-year 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share3 to be $8.00 to $8.75. The company currently expects to recapture approximately 90 percent of the estimated $2.5 billion year-over year increase in full-year 2018 fuel expense.

For more information on UAL’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company’s investor update.

Third-Quarter Highlights

Customer Experience

  • Introduced a new boarding process at 1,000 gates around the world, designed to reduce customers’ stress by spending less time waiting in line and providing them with improved boarding information.
  • United Airlines MileagePlus loyalty program voted Favorite Frequent-Flyer Program in Trazee Awards.
  • The United Polaris lounge at Chicago O’Hare International Airport voted Best Business Class Lounge in the United States by the 2018 World Airline Awards from Skytrax.
  • Debuted United Corporate Preferred, the industry’s newest corporate travel program designed to offer top travel benefits to the company’s most loyal business customers.
  • Launched the redesigned united.com homepage, featuring a more personalized digital experience for each customer.

Operations and Employees

  • In July, UAL had its best consolidated D :00 month of July in history and its highest consolidated load factor month ever.
  • Carried the most-ever customers to their destinations during the summer.
  • Consolidated completion factor at UAL’s hubs in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles reached third-quarter record levels.
  • Achieved the top score of 100 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a prominent benchmarking metric that rates U.S. companies on their disability inclusion policies and practices, also earning UAL a place on DEI’s 2018 “Best Places to Work” list.

Network and Fleet

  • Announced several new international routes, including year-round nonstop service between Washington Dulles and Tel Aviv, Israel, making UAL the only airline to offer nonstop service between the two cities; daily, year-round service between San Francisco and Amsterdam; and nonstop seasonal summer service between Newark/New York and Naples, Italy, and Newark/New York and Prague, all subject to government approval.
  • Added 100 flights and more than 10,000 seats daily to 12 of the country’s top ski destinations during the 2018/2019 ski season, more than 8,500 seats from U.S. hubs and eight other U.S. cities connecting more customers than ever to Las Vegas for CES 2019, and more than 204,000 total seats from September through November to popular college football towns including Madison, Wisconsin, and Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Announced orders to purchase 25 new Embraer E-175 and 13 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
  • Took delivery of one Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft (top) and two used Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

Community and Environment

  • Committed to reducing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, the only U.S. airline to commit to emissions reductions, further strengthening UAL’s ambition to be the world’s most environmentally conscious airline.
  • Launched a Crowdrise fundraising campaign to support those affected by Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut, flooding in Western Japan, wildfires in California and other disasters.
  • As part of a previously announced $8 million commitment, announced a $2 million grant to be split between the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Urban League of Essex County, and Year Up New York, as well as a $1 million grant to First Place for Youth in Los Angeles, and a $1 million grant to the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network.

In other news, United will drop the seasonal Newark – Hamburg route in 2019, previously scheduled to start on April 29, 2019.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by United): United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N67501 (msn 43430) BFI (Brandon Farris). Image: 941628.

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