Tag Archives: United Airlines

American, Delta and United pressure the White House against Qatar Airways and Air Italy

The CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have published an open letter to the White House concerning Qatar Airways and Air Italy:

President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump,

Your administration was built on the enduring principle that the U.S. government will stand up for American workers against foreign governments that break their trade agreements with our country. The American people are grateful for that promise.

Today, America’s airline workers are counting on you to step up on their behalf.

In January 2018, your administration reached a historic agreement with Qatar over its Open Skies violations. While we hoped this agreement would hold Qatar accountable and force its heavily subsidized airline, Qatar Airways, to follow the rules and stop hurting American workers, that did not happen.

Today, Qatar Airways is ignoring the 2018 agreement that your administration signed by using massive government subsidies to launch new routes to the United States through its stake in Air Italy. Air Italy was a struggling regional carrier until Qatar Airways injected tens of millions of dollars into the company to circumvent the agreement and expand its U.S. presence. In the last few days, Qatar Airways has used its Italian proxy to launch routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and added flights to Miami – a further effort to undermine U.S. airlines. Simply put, Qatar Airways represents a grave threat to American jobs and the health of the airline industry.

No rule-abiding business can compete with a massively subsidized airline that ignores economic realities and can wipe away losses with one infusion of government cash after another.

We respectfully encourage your administration to hold Qatar accountable for violating
its agreement with the United States and affirm that we will not tolerate these continued infractions. We appreciate your resolute leadership in enforcing fair trade principles and ask that you continue to stand up for the more than 1.2 million U.S. workers whose jobs depend on a strong and vibrant passenger airline industry.


Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines

Edward Bastian, CEO Delta Air Lines

Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines


United expects its MAX jets to fly again this summer, deliveries resuming before the end of 2019

United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N37502 (msn 43431) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945353.

From Reuters:

United Airlines expects Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX jets to return to service this summer, with deliveries resuming before the end of the year, an executive said on Wednesday, reassuring investors concerned about a prolonged suspension.

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March following two fatal crashes, forcing Boeing to freeze deliveries. Boeing is under pressure to upgrade the software and convince global regulators that the plane is safe to fly again, a process expected to take at least 90 days.

Chicago-based United, which is part of United Continental Holdings Inc, removed its 14 MAX aircraft from its flying schedule through early July, while U.S. competitors that own the MAX have planned their flying schedules without the aircraft into August.

United has another 16 MAX orders scheduled for delivery this year.

“The aircraft scheduled for delivery this year, we would expect to take this year,” Chief Financial Officer Gerald Laderman said on a first-quarter conference call.

Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N37502 (msn 43431) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945353.

United Airlines aircraft slide show:


United Airlines reports its first quarter financial results, will introduce its new livery on April 24

United Airlines (UAL) has announced that a combination of strong top-line revenue performance and effective cost management led to first quarter pre-tax margin growth that is expected to lead its peers. The company remains confident that it will deliver on its long-term adjusted diluted earnings per share2 (EPS) targets of $10 to $12 in 2019 and $11 to $13 in 2020.

Image: United Airlines

  • Reported first quarter net income of $292 million, diluted EPS of $1.09, pre-tax earnings of $367 million and pre-tax margin of 3.8 percent, expanding pre-tax margin 1.8 points versus the first quarter of 2018.
  • Reported first quarter adjusted net income of $309 million, adjusted diluted EPS of $1.15, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $389 million, adjusted pre-tax margin of 4.1 percent, expanding adjusted pre-tax margin 2.1 points versus the first quarter of 2018.1
  • Total passenger revenue increased 7.1 percent versus the first quarter of 2018.
  • First quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.1 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated first-quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 2.1 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated first-quarter CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 1.8 percent year-over-year.
  • Repurchased $527 million of its common shares in the first-quarter of 2019, at an average purchase price of $83.68 per share.
  • For the second consecutive quarter the airline reported adjusted pre-tax margin expansion.

“We delivered another strong financial quarter in which we made important progress on our customer investments while making strategic decisions to manage our costs and producing pre-tax margin growth that we expect will lead our peers,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. “That’s why we are more confident than ever that we’ll reach our long-term adjusted EPS targets we unveiled last year. I want to thank all 93,000 of our employees for their incredible work as we overcame some unique challenges and refocused our efforts in 2019 toward elevating the United experience for our customers.”

First-Quarter 2019 Highlights

Operations and Employees

  • Flew the most revenue passengers ever for a first quarter in company history.
  • Despite a weather-challenged first quarter, achieved second-highest mainline on-time departures rate performance versus the major U.S. airlines.
  • Launched Backstage 2019 which will bring all 25,000 flight attendants to Chicago for an event which will help us elevate the way customers feel about their United experience.
  • Earned 100 percent score on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual scorecard on LGBTQ workplace equality.
  • Broke ground on a state-of-the-art Technical Operations Center at Los Angeles International Airport that will enable the airline to provide exceptional service for all of its aircraft fleets.
  • Announced headquarters will remain at the iconic Willis Tower in the airline’s hometown of Chicago, while making investments to completely transform the current workspace and experience.

Customer Experience

  • Introduced a re-imagined mobile app to customers around the world featuring a more dynamic experience that updates customers at each step of their travel journey while adding enhancements that make managing travel easier.
  • Announced free live DIRECTV on 211 Boeing 737 United aircraft equipped with seat back TV, providing more than 100 channels of live television.
  • Introduced the relaunch of the United MileagePlus X app, which offers United MileagePlus® members a unique opportunity to earn award miles for everyday purchases.
  • Opened the fifth of its award-winning United Polaris Lounges at Los Angeles International Airport.
  • Opened a brand-new 5,000-square-foot United Club at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport – the first of four new United Club locations set to open in 2019.
  • Announced next step in airline’s commitment to making customers more comfortable by adding more than 1,600 United Polaris® business class and United First seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft.
  • Launched new state-of-the-art United Meetings product, available on the airline’s business portal, United Jetstream, which makes managing travel and redeeming rewards for meetings and events quicker and more streamlined.
  • 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 and in a MileagePlus customer profile, providing customers the ability to identify themselves corresponding with what is indicated on their passports or identification.


  • Began new service from four hubs to 18 cities in 12 states and one province and launched new nonstop seasonal service between San Francisco and Amsterdam.
  • Announced 11 new domestic routes.
  • Filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for a total of six daily nonstop flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport from six of the airline’s hubs.


  • Announced a brand new and revolutionary regional flying experience with the addition of the two-cabin, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ550 aircraft, offering customers on key regional routes more legroom, storage and amenities than any other 50-seat regional aircraft operating today.
  • Became first carrier in the world to operate all three Dreamliner models as its first 787-10 began regular service in January from Los Angeles International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • Took delivery of four Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft (prior to the March 13, 2019 Federal Aviation Administration order grounding U.S.-registered 737 MAX aircraft) and four Boeing 787-10 aircraft.

Community and Environment

  • Donated $1 million to Feeding America’s Shutdown Response Fund to directly support the food banks providing food for families of federal workers.
  • Launched Her Art Here, a first-of-its-kind contest designed to find and uplift underrepresented women artists by providing a chance to paint a canvas like no other – a United Airlines aircraft.

In related news, United has removed its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft through at least early July 2019.

The company is expected to unveil its updated new livery in Chicago on April 24.

“Rhapsody Blue,” in honor of the historic Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” music, is expected to survive along with a lighter “United Blue” and an even lighter “Sky Blue,” as well as a “Premium Purple”.

Reuters: U.S. airlines face too many travelers, too few planes in 737 MAX summer dilemma

From Reuters:

Normally, U.S. airlines compete to sell tickets and fill seats during the peak summer travel season. But operators of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX are facing a different problem: scarce planes and booming demand.

The grounding of Boeing Co’s fuel-efficient, single-aisle workhorse after two fatal crashes is biting into U.S. airlines’ Northern Hemisphere spring and summer schedules, threatening to disarm them in their seasonal war for profits.

“The revenue is right in front of them. They can see it, but they can’t meet it,” said Mike Trevino, spokesman for Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and an aviation industry veteran.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8718Q (msn 42546) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 944333.

Above Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8718Q (msn 42546) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 944333.

Southwest Airlines Co, the world’s largest MAX operator, and American Airlines Group Inc with 34 and 24 MAX jetliners respectively, have removed the aircraft from their flying schedules into August. United Airlines said on Monday it would remove its 14 MAX jets through early July.

Southwest’s decision will lead to 160 cancellations of some 4,200 daily flights between June 8 and Aug. 5, while American’s removal through Aug. 19 means about 115 daily cancellations, or 1.5 percent of its summer flying schedule each day.

Low-cost carrier Southwest, which unlike its rivals only flies Boeing 737s, had estimated $150 million in lost revenue between Feb. 20 and March 31 alone due to MAX cancellations and other factors.

So far airlines have said it is too soon to estimate the impact of the MAX grounding beyond the first quarter, but the extended cancellations signal that they do not expect a quick return of Boeing’s fast-selling jetliner. The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March following a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash just five months after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia. All on board both planes were killed.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver an upgrade on software that is under scrutiny in both crashes and convince global regulators that the plane is safe to fly again, a process expected to take at least 90 days.

The timing of a prolonged grounding could not be worse for Northern Hemisphere carriers. Planes run fullest during June, July and August, when airlines earn the most revenue per available seat mile, according to U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In a letter to employees and customers on Sunday, American Airlines’ top executives said they believed the MAX would be recertified “soon” but wanted to provide their customers reliability and confidence during “the busiest travel period of the year.”

American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N303RE (msn 44447) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 945355.

Above Copyright Photo: American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N303RE (msn 44447) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 945355.

American was cancelling about 90 flights per day through early June, but runs more flights and has less fleet flexibility in the peak summer travel months.

“We’re not denying that it’s going to be a challenge for us,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said. “That is why if we have to extend cancellations based on aircraft availability we will do so as far in advance as possible.”

A decline in seat capacity could mean higher last-minute summer fares, particularly for business class travelers, aviation consultants and analysts said.

United has largely avoided cancellations by servicing MAX routes with larger 777 or 787 aircraft, but the airline president, Scott Kirby, warned last week that the strategy was costing it money and could not go on forever.

“We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers, who had been scheduled to travel on one of our 14 MAX aircraft, get where they are going. But, it’s harder to make those changes at the peak of the busy summer travel season,” United said on Monday.


Overall the MAX represents just 5 percent of Southwest’s total fleet and even less for American and United, but the strain on fleets increases as additional MAX deliveries remain frozen.

Southwest has 41 MAX jets pending delivery for 2019, while American has 16 and United 14. They are each working with Boeing and regulators to ensure the aircraft’s safety before flying it with customers and employees.

Meanwhile, operators have added a flight or two to other aircrafts’ daily schedules and deferred some non-essential maintenance work. Some airlines are also weighing extending aircraft leases and bringing back idled planes, but with unclear MAX timing, no option is clear-cut or cheap, consultants said.

United is due to publish first-quarter results on April 16, followed by Southwest on April 25 and American on April 26.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Chris Sanders, Susan Thomas and Nick Zieminski

United Airlines preparing new nonstop seasonal service between Newark and Cape Town, South Africa

United Airlines today applied with the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin new service between Newark Liberty International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. United plans to operate nonstop three-times weekly flights to Cape Town starting in December 2019.

United’s nonstop service between Newark and Cape Town will decrease the current travel time from New York area to Cape Town by more than four hours and provide customers from more than 80 U.S. cities with easy one-stop access to Cape Town. If approved, United’s service between New York/Newark and Cape Town will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft featuring 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in United Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and the country’s center of trade and commerce. Located at the shore of Table Bay, the city is home to some of the most popular attractions in South Africa including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Travelers to South Africa often begin their African journey in Cape Town before touring the Cape Winelands, viewing the African penguins at Boulder Beach or traveling beyond Cape Town to explore South Africa’s natural beauty including its many national parks, game reserves and beautiful coastlines and beaches of the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces.

United to unveil a Boeing 737-800 in a Star Wars livery

United Airlines has announced it will paint one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft in a stunning two-sided Star Wars livery.

The left side will feature the light side of the force.

The right side will feature the dark side.

The livery will “appear in the galaxy” just in time for the premier of the new star wars Episode IX movie: The Rise of Skywalker in December 2019.


United offers the first women designs for their Boeing 757-200 flying canvas

United Airlines has submitted some aircraft designs for voting in the on-going “Her Art Here design” program. The winning designs will be featured on a Boeing 757-200.

Women artists from coast to coast submitted their designs for a United Boeing 757. Now we need your help to decide which two artists will have their art in the sky for the whole country to look up to.

Vote for your favorite Her Art Here design. During the voting period (April 11-19, 2019), each visitor may vote for their favorite finalist entry from each region once per day. Points will be assigned to each finalist based on the number of votes received (voting score). The combined score will be determined based on the judges’ score from round two and the voting score. See here for official rules.

Select one design from each region then submit your vote
Select one:

Submitted  by Lila Ash, CA

Submitted by Lila A., CA

Submitted by Laci Jordan, CA

Submitted by Laci J., CA

Submitted by Tsungwei Moo, CA

Submitted by Tsungwei M., CA

New York / New Jersey
Select one:

Submitted by, Corinne Antonelli, NY/NJ

Submitted by Corinne A., NY/NJ

Submitted by Pamela Elizarraras Acitores, NY

Submitted by Pamela E. A., NY

Submitted by, Julie Winegard, NY

Submitted by Julie W., NY

Don’t forget, to submit your vote you must select one design from each region.

Submit your vote*Final designs might be altered to adhere to legal, brand and engineering guidelines.

What finalists win
The six finalists (three for California and three for New York/New Jersey) will receive:

  • 100,000 United MileagePlus® award miles
  • A selection of their existing work, will be featured in a gallery event and in United Club locations and United Polaris® lounges. This is not a requirement of winning, but an opportunity if the artist would like to display their work. United will cover all costs associated with the shipping and showing of work and take no commissions.
  • Two grand prize winners — one representing each region — and chosen by public vote from this group of finalists, will each receive $10,000 in cash (issued as a check). They’ll both get to work with renowned artist Shantell Martin to finalize the design for their respective region’s aircraft.See here for more information on Her Art Here.


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