United Airlines (UAL) has announced it reached its 2020 goal — first announced in January 2018 — to achieve adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) target2 of $11 to $13 a full year ahead of schedule. The company also achieved full year pre-tax margin growth of 2.6 points, which is expected to outpace its largest competitors for 2019.
- Reported fourth quarter net income of $641 million, diluted EPS of $2.53, up 50% versus the fourth quarter of 2018, pre-tax earnings of $844 million and pre-tax margin of 7.8 percent, expanding pre-tax margin 2.5 points versus the fourth quarter of 2018.
- Reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $676 million, adjusted diluted EPS of $2.67, up 11% versus the fourth quarter of 2018, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $889 million and adjusted pre-tax margin of 8.2 percent, expanding adjusted pre-tax margin 0.5 points versus the fourth quarter of 2018.1
- Reported full year net income of $3.0 billion, diluted EPS of $11.58, up 51% versus full year 2018, pre-tax earnings of $3.9 billion and pre-tax margin of 9.0 percent, expanding pre-tax margin 2.6 points versus full year 2018.
- Reported full year adjusted net income of $3.1 billion, adjusted diluted EPS of $12.05, up 32% versus full year 2018, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $4.1 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 9.4 percent, expanding adjusted pre-tax margin 1.7 points versus full year 2018.1
- Consolidated fourth quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 0.8 percent year-over-year.
- Consolidated fourth quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 1.3 percent year-over-year and consolidated full year unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 1.2 percent year-over-year.
- Consolidated fourth quarter CASM, excluding special charges, third party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 2.7 percent year-over-year. Consolidated full year CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 1.0 percent year-over-year.
- Repurchased $216 million of its common shares in the fourth quarter of 2019, at an average purchase price of $88.95 per share, bringing share repurchases for full year 2019 to $1.6 billion.
“2019 was a great year for our United team — highlighted by achieving our $11 to $13adjusted EPS target a full year ahead of schedule,” said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines. “With a four-quarter streak of expanding profit margins, when all the results are in we expect our full year 2019 pre-tax margin growth to be the highest amongst our largest competitors. When I look at United’s fundamental strength, I could not be prouder of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time. This is the New United we set out to build more than four years ago. As we embark on a new year and decade, I believe the outlook for United’s future has never been brighter.”
1 Excludes special charges, unrealized gains and losses on investments and imputed interest on certain finance leases. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.
For more information on UAL’s first quarter and full year 2020 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company’s investor update.
Operations and Employees
- Flew most revenue passengers in company history.
- Set new company record for most mainline departures with nearly 800,000 departures.
- Number one in on-time departures at all hubs with direct competitors — Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.
- Hosted Backstage 2019, which brought all 25,000 flight attendants to Chicago for an event which was designed to underscore the important role flight attendants play in delivering great service.
- Profit sharing for 2019 was on average 45 percent higher per participating employee year-over-year.
- Launched Aviate, a new pilot recruiting and development program and career website to establish a more structured career path to becoming a United pilot.
- Hired nearly 9,000 aviation professionals in well paying careers with great benefits in 2019.
- Introduced ConnectionSaver, a new tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers connecting from one United flight to the next, saving nearly 100,000 connections to be made in 2019.
- Became the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options throughout all booking channels in addition to providing the option to select the title “Mx.” during booking.
- Announced MileagePlus award miles never expire, giving members a lifetime to use miles on flights, experiences, hotels and more.
- Announced free live DIRECTV on 211 Boeing 737 United aircraft equipped with seat back TV, providing more than 100 channels of live television.
- Introduced a re-imagined mobile app to customers featuring a more dynamic experience that updates customers at each step of their travel journey.
- Customers are now provided three inflight snack options on domestic flights regardless of departure time, including the Stroopwafel.
- MileagePlus members between the ages of 18 to 22 received a discount on domestic flights when booked through the United mobile app through the end of 2019.
- Opened the fifth of its award-winning United Polaris Lounges at Los AngelesInternational Airport.
- Opened three new United Clubs at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
- Announced the addition of more than 1,600 United Polaris® business class and United First seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft.
- Began flight operations at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B Eastern Concourse.
- Customers can now pre-pay for bags as soon as their ticket is issued. Previously customers had to wait until check-in to pay for their bags.
- Announced partnership with CLEAR which includes a free or discounted CLEAR membership for U.S.-based MileagePlus members.
- Announced a total of nine new international routes and two new expanded routes beginning in 2020, including four new daily nonstop flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport.
- Strengthened the domestic route network with 69 new routes including launching 54 new routes and announcing 15 routes beginning in 2020.
- Launched 11 new international routes in 2019, including direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Cape Town, South Africa; Prague, Czech Republic; and Naples, Italy.
Above Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner N14011 (msn 40934) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 948822.
- Took delivery of 49 aircraft in 2019, including eight Boeing 787-10 aircraft, becoming the first carrier in the world to operate all three Dreamliner models.
- Signed agreements to purchase 50 Airbus A321 XLR, 20 used Boeing 737-700 aircraft and 20 Embraer E175 aircraft operated by our regional partners.
- Introduced a brand new and revolutionary regional flying experience with the addition of the two-cabin, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft.
- Unveiled next paint design, which brings a refreshed look to its fleet, serving as a visual representation of the airline’s ongoing brand evolution.
- Launched Boeing 767-300ER ultra-premium United Polaris business class configuration on all flights between New York/Newark and Chicago to London–Heathrow.
Community and Environment
- Launched Miles on a Mission, a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform which gives customers a simple way to donate miles to non-profit organizations and charities in need of air travel.
- Pledged on Giving Tuesday to match up to 10 million MileagePlus miles to featured Miles on a Mission partners.
- Committed $40 million toward a new investment initiative focused on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonization technologies.
- Made history with the departure of the “Flight for the Planet,” the most eco-friendly commercial flight of its kind in the history of aviation.
- Renewed contract with Boston-based World Energy to purchase up to 10 million gallons of cost-competitive, commercial-scale, sustainable aviation biofuel.
- Launched Her Art Here, a contest where two women artists were chosen to have their work painted on California– and New York/New Jersey-themed Boeing 757s to uplift underrepresented women artists.
- Celebrated Women in Aviation International’s annual Girls in Aviation Day by hosting more than 500 girls in 14 locations around the world.
- Became the first public company to be inducted into Pride Live’s Stonewall Ambassador program in recognition of the airline’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equality.
- Reached a milestone of 1 million meals packed for charity partner Rise Against Hunger.
- Donated $1 million to Feeding America’s Shutdown Response Fund to directly support the food banks providing food for families of federal workers.
United Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):