Tag Archives: United Airlines

United to start Boston – London Heathrow service

United Airlines has announced plans to expand its global route network with new, nonstop service between Boston Logan International Airport and London Heathrow. This new service builds upon United’s growing presence in London and provides customers on the East Coast with another convenient option to get to London. United plans to operate its premium Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the route.

Boston – London Schedule









10:00 p.m.

9:35 a.m.+1





5:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m.



Schedule subject to change

Media Briefing by NTSB Chairman on the United Airlines flight 328 investigation

NTSB issued this preliminary video report on United Airlines flight 328:

United Airlines flight 328 experienced a right engine failure shortly after takeoff from Denver International Airport. The airplane returned safely to Denver; none of the 229 passengers or 10 crew members were injured. The flight’s destination was Honolulu, Hawaii.

NTSB investigators from the Denver regional office along with another investigator who lives in the area, plus the investigator-in-charge and a power plant specialist from NTSB headquarters, responded to the incident and began the investigation.

WHO:             NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt and Investigator-in-Charge Dan Bower.

WHAT:           Media Briefing on NTSB’s investigation of Saturday’s engine failure incident on United flight 328.

United Airlines grounds its 24 P&W-powered Boeing 777-200s

United Airlines Boeing 777-222 ER N213UA (msn 30219) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 952931.

United Airlines has made this announcement:

We are voluntarily and temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule. We will continue to work closely with regulators to determine any additional steps and expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced.

The remaining 28 are already in storage.

The United announcement came after the FAA issued an emergency order saying it would be increasing inspections of Boeing 777-200s equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 777-222 ER N213UA (msn 30219) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 952931.

From Wikipedia:

“The Pratt & Whitney PW4000 is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines produced by Pratt & Whitney as the successor to the JT9D . It was first run in April 1984, was FAA certified in July 1986, and was introduced in June 1987. With thrust ranging from 50,000 to 99,040 lbf (222 to 441 kN), it is used on many wide-body airliners.”

Boeing 777-200 slide show:


United’s flight UA 328 from Denver to Honolulu suffers an engine failure, returns safely to DEN after engine parts fall on Broomfield, CO

United Airlines flight UA 328 from Denver to Honolulu on February 20 with Boeing 777-200 N772UA suffered a right engine failure after takeoff from runway 25 at DEN. Engine parts fell in Broomfield, Colorado.

United Airlines Boeing 777-222 N772UA (msn 26930) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 931115.

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 777-222 N772UA (msn 26930) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 931115.

No injuries were reported.

All photos by the Broomfield Police Department.

Video from the cabin:

The flight returned to Denver International Airport wit its 231 passengers and 10 crew members.

United Airlines issued this statement on social media:

Flight UA 328 from Denver to Honolulu experienced an engine failure shortly after departure, returned safely to Denver and was met by emergency crews as a precaution. There are no reported injuries onboard. We are in contact with the FAA, NTSB and local law enforcement.

More on social media:

More from CNN.

United announces plans to begin new daily nonstop service between Boston Logan and London Heathrow

In response to the JetBlue-American alliance:

United Airlines today announced plans to expand its global route network with new, nonstop service between Boston Logan International Airport and London Heathrow. This new service builds upon United’s growing presence in London and provides customers on the East Coast with another convenient option to get to London. United plans to operate its premium Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the route, with 46 United Polaris Business Class and 22 United Premium Plus seats. The aircraft features the highest proportion of premium seats on any wide body aircraft operated by a U.S. carrier between London and the United States.

United has provided service to London Heathrow for nearly 30 years and over the course of the pandemic has maintained continuous service between the U.S. and London. Looking ahead,  Boston will be United’s 19th daily flight between the United States and London Heathrow.

Boston – London Schedule









10:00 p.m.

9:35 a.m.+1





5:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m.



 Schedule subject to change

United to work with Archer Aviation to accelerate production of advanced, short-haul electric aircraft

United Airlines today announced that it has completed an agreement to work with air mobility company Archer as part of the airline’s broader effort to invest in emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel. Rather than relying on traditional combustion engines, Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as an ‘air taxi’ in urban markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, United will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist Archer with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft. Once the aircraft are in operation and have met United’s operating and business requirements, United, together with Mesa Airlines, would acquire a fleet of up to 200 of these electric aircraft that would be operated by a partner and are expected to give customers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments within the next five years.

Working with Archer is another example of United’s commitment to identifying and investing in innovative technology that can reduce carbon emissions while also improving the customer experience and earning a strong financial return. The airline was an early stage investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy and recently partnered with 1PointFive, a joint venture between Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Rusheen Capital, to jumpstart the establishment of direct air capture and sequestration technology.

“Part of how United will combat global warming is by embracing emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel . By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation. With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “Archer’s eVTOL design, manufacturing model and engineering expertise has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”

With today’s technology, Archer’s aircraft are designed to travel distances of up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and future models will be designed to travel faster and further. Not only are Archer’s aircraft capable of saving individuals time on their commute, United estimates that using Archer’s eVTOL aircraft could reduce CO2 emissions by 47% per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the initial cities where Archer plans to launch its fleet.

Led by co-founders and co-CEOs Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein, Archer’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility at scale. Archer plans to unveil its full scale eVTOL aircraft in 2021, begin aircraft production in 2023, and launch consumer flights in 2024. To drive this fourth transportation revolution and transform how people approach everyday life, work and adventure, Archer has built a highly accomplished team of top engineering and design talent, with a collective 200+ years of eVTOL experience.

“We couldn’t be happier to be working with an established global player like United,” said Brett Adcock, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer. “This deal represents so much more than just a commercial agreement for our aircraft, but rather the start of a relationship that we believe will accelerate our timeline to market as a result of United’s strategic guidance around FAA certification, operations and maintenance.”

Adam Goldstein, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer added “the team at United share our vision of a more sustainable future. We’re working closely with their test pilots and environmental teams to make sustainable urban air mobility a reality far sooner than people could ever imagine.”

United makes Hawaii travel easier with expanded COVID testing and pre-clearance program

United Airlines made this announcement:

Beginning February 1, United customers traveling to Hawaii who have a valid negative COVID-19 test can show their results before boarding to save time and skip document screening lines upon arrival. The new pre-clearance process will be in place for customers traveling on 110 of United’s weekly flights to Hawaii.

United is also making it easier to get the right tests to avoid Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine by making approved COVID-19 tests available to all customers traveling to the islands no matter where in the U.S. their travel begins.

To begin the pre-clearance program, customers will enroll in Hawaii’s Safe Travels program and complete Hawaii’s COVID-19 questionnaire within 24 hours from departure. Next, customers will use the Safe Travels website to upload their negative test results from one of Hawaii’s trusted testing partners which must be taken within 72 hours of their departure. At the airport, customers will see a United team member at the gate for their flight to Hawaii where they will receive a wristband if they qualify to bypass airport screening in Hawaii. Customers who have been pre-cleared will be able to skip test screenings in Hawaii and begin their trip as soon as they land.

United is also making it easier for customers to obtain approved COVID-19 test options with the expansion of mail-in tests to customers no matter where in the U.S. their travel originates. The airline will notify customers in advance of their Hawaii trip to let them know what testing options they have locally. Last year, United also teamed up with XpresCheck to open additional same-day testing facilities for United customers in select airports. XpresCheck currently has locations open in United’s Denver terminal, and expects to open additional locations in United’s terminals in Houston and Newark in the coming weeks. Customers who choose to take a test with XpresCheck can schedule an appointment online for a rapid molecular test on the same day as their travel. Walk up appointments are also available on a first come, first served basis.

United reported a fourth quarter net loss of $1.9 billion, $7.1 billion for the full-year 2020

United Airlines (UAL) has announced fourth quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company continues its efforts to lead the industry as it manages the most disruptive crisis in aviation history.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, United has raised over $26 billion in liquidity and made important progress in reducing core cash burn (see detailed chart below) to ensure the company’s survival. Over the last three quarters, the company has identified $1.4 billion of annual cost savings and has a path to achieve at least $2.0 billion in structural reductions moving forward. United ended 2020 with $19.7 billion in available liquidity1, including an undrawn revolver capacity and funds available under the CARES Act loan program from the U.S. Treasury.

Having stabilized its financial foundation, the company expects 2021 to be a transition year that’s focused on preparing for a recovery. United has resumed heavy maintenance and engine overhauls, investments that are essential to recovery when demand returns. The combination of structural cost reduction and timely investments will help set up United to exceed its 2019 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin in 2023. The company expressed high confidence that it would achieve this target by 2023 – and said its ongoing recovery planning would help ensure the company was equipped to reach this level even sooner, if demand returns more quickly.

“Aggressively managing the challenges of 2020 depended on our innovation and fast-paced decision making. But, the truth is that COVID-19 has changed United Airlines forever,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “The passion, teamwork and perseverance that the United team showed in 2020 is exactly what will help us build a new United Airlines that’s better, stronger and more profitable than ever. I could not be prouder of – and more grateful to – this team, which is going to lead us there.”


* Adjusted EBITDA margin is a non-GAAP financial measure calculated as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA), excluding special charges and unrealized (gains) losses on investments, divided by total operating revenue. We are not providing a target or a reconciliation to profit margin (net income/total operating revenue), the most directly comparable GAAP measure, because we are unable to predict certain items contained in the GAAP measure without unreasonable efforts. Adjusted EBITDA margin does not reflect certain items, including special charges and unrealized (gains) losses on investments, which may be significant. For a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net income for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, please see the accompanying tables to this release.

Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

  • Reported fourth-quarter net loss of $1.9 billion$7.1 billion for the full-year 2020.
  • Reported fourth-quarter adjusted net loss2 of $2.1 billion$7.7 billion for the full-year 2020.
  • Reported fourth-quarter total operating revenue of $3.4 billion, down 69% versus fourth-quarter 2019.
  • Reported fourth-quarter operating expenses down 45% versus fourth-quarter 2019, down 42% excluding special charges3.

Core Cash Burn

  • Reported fourth-quarter daily cash burn4 of $23 million, plus $10 million of average debt principal payments and severance payments per day.
  • Reported fourth-quarter core cash burn4 of $19 million per day, an improvement of an average of $5 million per day versus the third-quarter 2020.
  • Core cash burn captures underlying operational performance of the company throughout the pandemic; a reconciliation with cash burn4 is provided below.





Cash burn4




  Debt principal and severance payments




  Timing of certain payments5




  Investments in the recovery6



  Capital expenditures, net of flight equipment purchase deposit returns



Core cash burn4




First Quarter 2021 Outlook

  • Based on current trends, the company expects first quarter 2021 total operating revenue to be down 65 percent to 70 percent versus the first quarter 2019. Accelerated distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine may lead to faster improvement, however, the company is not including this potential improvement in its first quarter 2021 revenue outlook.
  • Expects first quarter 2021 capacity to be down at least 51 percent versus the first quarter of 2019.
  • Expects first quarter 2021 ending available liquidity to be similar to year-end 2020 available liquidity of around $19.7 billion1.

Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Highlights

  • Completed $3 billion Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate (EETC) transaction; the largest deal of this type in aviation history.
  • First U.S. airline to leverage its loyalty program, MileagePlus®, as collateral for a $6.8B loan.
  • Received $968 million in net proceeds from the sale of 20.8 million shares in the ATM program in the fourth quarter 2020. For the full year 2020, total net proceeds were $989 million from the sale of 21.4 million shares through the ATM program.
  • Only airline to partner with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and Air Mobility Command (AMC) to study how effectively the unique airflow configuration on board an aircraft can prevent the spread of aerosolized particles among passengers and crew.
  • First airline to safely transport the first delivery of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S.
  • First among U.S. global airlines to permanently eliminate change fees on all standard economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., and starting January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service.
  • Announced bold environmental commitment unmatched by any airline; pledging 100% green by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050.
  • First U.S. airline to implement schedule reductions due to sharp travel demand drop.
  • Increased cargo revenue by an industry-leading 77 percent in the fourth quarter by leveraging international flying and deploying strategic international cargo-only missions.
  • Launched the world’s first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot for customers.
  • First U.S. airline to launch a COVID-19 testing program for customers traveling on United from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii.
  • Since COVID-19 began, first major U.S. airline to require masks onboard. In the third quarter, extended mask requirements to airport terminals.
  • One of the first U.S. airlines to enforce policy banning customers for refusing to follow mask requirements.
  • First major U.S. airline to ask all passengers to complete a health self-assessment during their check-in process based on recommendations from the Cleveland Clinic.
  • First airline to contact customers when flights are more than 70% full to give them the opportunity to change their plans for free.
  • First U.S. airline to introduce a tool like the Destination Travel Guide, a new interactive map tool on united.com and the United mobile app that allows customers to filter and view destinations’ COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
  • First U.S. airline to introduce an interactive map feature for customers on united.com, powered by Google Flight Search Enterprise Technology, to easily compare and shop for flights based on departure city, budget, and location type. Customers can simultaneously compare travel to various destinations in a single search.
  • First U.S. airline whose CEO took a 100% salary cut.

Taking Care of Our Customers

  • Launched United CleanPlusSM to reinforce the company’s commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of the entire customer experience, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness, including partnerships with Clorox and experts from the Cleveland Clinic.
  • First and only airline to maximize ventilation systems by running the auxiliary power on mainline aircraft during the entire boarding and deplaning process, so customers and crew get the important safety benefits provided by high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems.
  • Electrostatic spraying aircraft interiors on all U.S. flights.
  • Began using new Clorox® Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect airport terminals.
  • Introduced customer COVID-19 testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean destinations.
  • Began working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the first contact tracing initiative for all international and domestic flights.
  • Added Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to the airline’s already rigorous safety and cleaning procedures.
  • Launched an automated assistant chat function that gives customers a contactless option to receive immediate access to information about cleaning and safety procedures put in place due to COVID-19.
  • Began cleaning pilot flight decks with Ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting technology on most aircraft at hub airports to disinfect the flight deck interior and continue providing pilots with a sanitary work environment.
  • Expanded touchless check-in capabilities to kiosks at more than 215 airports.
  • Launched free COVID-19 testing to all employees and checks their temperatures before they begin work at all U.S. airports.
  • In May, started providing individually wrapped hand wipes and snack bag with pretzels, Stroopwafel and water to reduce touchpoints.
  • Redesigned United’s Mobile App to be more accessible for people with visual disabilities.
  • Announced changes to the MileagePlus Premier® program that will make it easier to earn status in 2021 for the 2022 program year.
  • Launched virtual, on-demand customer service at the airport.
  • Announced plan to continue installing United Polaris® Business Class on Boeing 787 fleet.

Reimagining the Route Network

  • In 2020, started 43 domestic routes and 10 international routes, with 15 more international routes planned to launch in 2021.
  • In 4Q, responded to Thanksgiving travel demand by adding over 1,400 domestic flights to the November schedule.
  • In 4Q, expanded service to India with 4 daily flights including the addition of O’Hare to Delhi; United remains the only U.S. carrier to serve India.
  • Compared to September, United had nonstop service in 23 more domestic and 8 more international routes in October, 37 more domestic and 32 more international routes in November, and 95 more domestic and 53 more international routes in December.
  • Announced plans to return service to New York/JFK after a five-year absence, with two daily round-trips to both San Francisco and Los Angeles starting in February 2021.

Assisting the Communities We Serve

  • Through a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flights, United has transported more than 401 million pounds of freight, which includes 87 million pounds of vital shipments, such as COVID-19 vaccines, medical kits, PPE, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, and more than 3.4 million pounds of military mail and packages.
  • Booked over 2,900 free flights for medical professionals to support COVID-19 response in New Jersey/New York and California.
  • Using crowdsourcing platform – Miles on a Mission – donated more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress, and Compass to Care.
  • More than 19.2 million miles were donated by MileagePlus members and 7.6 million miles were matched by United to help organizations providing relief during COVID-19.
  • Donated nearly 1.2 million pounds of food from United Polaris lounges, United Club locations, and catering kitchens to local food banks and charities.
  • Over 7,500 face masks were made from upcycled unused employee uniforms.
  • More than 800 gallons of hand sanitizer produced by United employees in San Francisco for use by United employees.
  • Donated 15,000 pillows, 2,800 amenity kits, and 5,000 self-care products to charities and homeless shelters.
  • More than 2.2 million pounds of food and household goods were processed by United employees at the Houston Food Bank.
  • More than 2,500 United employees worldwide have volunteered, with over 36,800 hours served.

Additional Noteworthy Accomplishments

  • For the ninth consecutive year received a perfect score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.
  • Honored by DiversityInc with their “DiversityInc Top 50” designation, lauding the airline’s leadership in promoting diversity through a diversity-focused talent pipeline and talent development, leadership accountability and a top supplier diversity program.
  • Recognized for the fifth consecutive year as a top-scoring company and best place to work for disability inclusion with a perfect score of 100 on the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI).
  • Teamed up with Peerspace to bundle flights with work and meeting spaces for remotely distanced companies.
  • Named best overall airline in the world by Global Traveler Readers.
  • Selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates as the official airline for the 2020 Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates.
  • Announced signing of The Board Challenge and committed to adding a second Black board member to the Board of Directors.


Total available liquidity includes cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and $1 billion available under our undrawn revolving credit facility, as well as $7 billion available under the CARES Act loan program.

Excludes operating and non-operating special charges, and unrealized gains and losses on investments. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

3 Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

4 Cash burn, as previously guided, is defined as: Net cash from operations, less investing and financing activities. Proceeds from the issuance of new debt (excluding expected aircraft financing), government grants associated with the Payroll Support Program of the CARES Act, issuance of new stock, net proceeds from the sale of short-term and other investments and changes in certain restricted cash balances are not included in this figure. Core cash burn is defined as: Cash burn, as further adjusted to exclude: debt principal payments, timing of certain payments, capital expenditures (net of flight equipment purchase deposit returns), investments in the recovery and severance payments. Amounts may not add due to rounding. See the tables accompanying this release for further information.

5 Timing of certain payments refers to exclusion of payments in the quarter that had been deferred from prior periods or additions of payments that were deferred to a future period to maximize cash preservation.

Investments in the recovery primarily include, but are not limited to, spending on engine and airframe maintenance to prepare for the efficient operations ramp up as air travel demand returns.

A message from Scott Kirby and Brett Hart

United Airlines issued this statement:

J. Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer, and Brett Hart, President, today issued the following message to all United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:

United Team:

We’re writing today with some really good news: the Administration and Congress have come together in a bipartisan way on a relief bill that includes several items, including an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for the airlines.

As you know, United has aggressively advocated for this extension for months and our airline has publicly supported similar efforts by our union partners. And we both have personally spoken to leaders in D.C. about the unique impact the crisis has had on our industry and the need for relief. Our appreciation goes out to all the elected officials who helped make this happen – we also know many of you lent your voices to the fight, so thank you as well.

So what does this mean for us? Well, to start, it means United intends to offer temporary employment to thousands of our team members who were impacted on September 30.

As you know, involuntary furloughs were always a last resort for us and we worked really hard over the summer – through cost-cutting, capital-raising, and partnering with our unions – to make the number of people who were ultimately impacted as small as possible.

Now, those employees who are eligible under the terms of the PSP extension can temporarily come back to United through March 2021. This is certainly good news for our economy, our industry, and our airline – but it’s especially good news for those who have been without a paycheck, and we can’t wait to welcome them back.

Importantly, though, we don’t expect customer demand to change much between now and the end of the first quarter of 2021. United has been realistic about our outlook throughout the crisis, and we’ve tried to give you an honest assessment every step of the way. The truth is, we just don’t see anything in the data that shows a huge difference in bookings over the next few months. That is why we expect the recall will be temporary.

But as we’ve said before, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel. The recent vaccine developments have been nothing short of extraordinary. And we’re so proud of our team for playing an important role in the global distribution of those treatments. But even though vaccinations have started and there are millions of doses being distributed around the country, we’re still months and months away from the majority of the population getting vaccinated.

There are still some details to work out before the PSP extension is finalized, and we expect that you will hear from your leaders over the next several days about what’s next for your specific workgroup. And for those employees who will be returning to work, we’ll continue to work closely with our union partners to make the process as easy as possible.

So let us end where we started – having our team members back working at United – even in some cases temporarily – is good news. The PSP extension will provide much needed relief for these team members and their families.

Thanks for all you continue to do to take care of our customers and one another.

Scott and Brett

United Airlines passenger dies from COVID-19 on an Orlando – Los Angeles flight

This is not going to help air travel:



Meanwhile the CDC is reaching out to the passengers on the flight.

New cases in the USA (CDC):