Tag Archives: United Airlines

United Airlines beats profit forecast in the third quarter, on track to meet 2022 targets

United Airlines (UAL) today announced third-quarter 2021 financial results. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the third quarter, the company remains confidently on track to achieve the range of longer term financial targets laid out as part of its United Next plan earlier this summer, and to reduce CASM-ex1 below 2019 levels next year.

Citing the rebound in premium leisure travel, re-opening of European borders next month, continued recovery of business travel and early indications of loosening travel restrictions in key Pacific markets, United also announced plans to increase international capacity by 10% in 2022 – while keeping domestic capacity flat to 2019. The plan will capitalize on already improving international margins and United’s ideally situated coastal hubs that have powered the airline’s recent success in launching new routes to Africa and India. Expected flying at record levels to EuropeLatin AmericaIndiaAfrica and the Middle East in summer 2022, will be enabled by the anticipated return of United’s Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 777s to the fleet in 2022, which – when combined with already announced approximately $2.2 billion in structural cost reduction and planned gauge growth – will allow United to keep CASM-ex1 in check as it continues on the path to recovery.

“The recovery was delayed by the Delta variant, but the United team remains focused on our long-term vision – and not getting sidetracked by near-term volatility – meaning we’re solidly on track to achieve the targets we set for 2022,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “From the return of business travel and the planned re-opening of Europe and early indications for opening in the Pacific, the headwinds we’ve faced are turning to tailwinds, and we believe that United is better positioned to lead the recovery than any airline in the world. Our recovery will be supported by investments in technology and other efficiencies that will give our employees the tools they need to take great care of our customers – and keep costs under control. I am grateful to our United team members for their continued commitment to our customers, because it has been essential to our ability to weather the pandemic, and it will fuel our success in the years ahead.”

Third Quarter Financial Results

  • Reported third quarter 2021 capacity down 28% compared to third quarter 2019.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 net income of $0.5 billion, adjusted net loss[2] of $0.3 billion.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 total operating revenue of $7.8 billion, down 31.9% compared to third quarter 2019.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 Total Revenue Per Available Seat Mile (TRASM) of down 5.1% compared to third quarter 2019.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 operating expenses down 32.2%, down 20.9% excluding special charges (credits)2, compared to third quarter 2019.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 Cost Per Available Seat Mile (CASM) of down 5.6%, CASM, excluding fuel, profit sharing, third-party business expenses and special charges (CASM-ex)1 of up 14.9% compared to third quarter 2019.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 pre-tax margin of 7.8%, negative 6.1% on an adjusted2 basis.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin2 of 7.4%.
  • Reported third quarter 2021 ending available liquidity3 of approximately $21 billion.


  • Expects fourth quarter 2021 capacity to be down approximately 23% versus fourth quarter 2019.5
  • Expects fourth quarter 2021 total revenue to be down 25% to 30% versus the fourth quarter 2019.
  • Expects fourth quarter 2021 CASM-ex1 to be up 12% to 14% compared to fourth quarter 2019.
  • Estimates fourth quarter 2021 fuel price of approximately $2.39 per gallon.6
  • Continues to expect 2022 CASM-ex1 to be lower than 2019.
  • Expects 2022 capacity to be up approximately 5% versus 2019 driven by international growth.
  • Expects adjusted capital expenditures2 to be around $3 billion in full year 2021.
  • Expects adjusted diluted earnings per share2 in 2026 of around $20 assuming the same number of diluted shares outstanding as of September 30, 2021. United Next assumes 2026 TRASM remains down around 1% versus 2019.
  • Remains on track to achieve long term financial targets from United Next plan.7

Key Highlights

  • First commercial airline to require U.S.-based employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 99.7% of all United Airlines employees chose to comply with the requirement, excluding those who sought a religious or medical accommodation.
  • Assisted in the evacuation of 15,000 passengers on 94 flights as part of Afghan relief efforts.
  • Committed to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over 20 years, which is one and a half times the size of the rest of the world’s airlines’ publicly announced SAF commitments combined.
  • Announced a commercial agreement with Airlink to provide customers with easy travel to more than 40 destinations in Southern Africa and the ability to earn or redeem miles on Airlink flights.

Taking Care of Our Customers

  • Achieved highest ever Net Promoter Score year-to-date, a 12% improvement year-to-date; with the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with the United signature interior receiving the highest scores in the fleet.
  • On time departure performance is at 71.8% and is on pace for the best yearly performance in company history.
  • This year, more than 500,000 customers have benefited from ConnectionSaver and the number of customers that have misconnected in 2021 is the lowest since 2011.
  • Most improved mishandled bag performance among mainline competitors year-to-date and a 38% improvement over 2019.

United Next

  • Awarded free flights for a year to the grand prize winners of the “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes to promote COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Gave customers access to even more COVID-19 testing locations, including more than 3,000 new Walmart and Albertsons Companies locations across the U.S., through the United website and mobile app in the Travel Ready Center.
  • Re-opened 18 United ClubSM lounge locations across the domestic network.
  • First U.S. airline to offer economy customers the option to pre-order snacks and beverages.
  • Offered customers the most transparent and user-friendly options in the industry to encourage and simplify using travel credits.
  • Announced five new domestic routes and three new international routes and launched three domestic routes and three international routes – with six more international routes planned to launch in the fourth quarter 2021.
  • Received approval to start selling tickets for the first-ever nonstop flight between Washington, D.C., and Lagos, Nigeria, allowing United to offer more flights between Washington, D.C. and Africa than any other carrier (flights operations remain subject to government approval).
  • Resumed nonstop service on 23 domestic routes and 13 international routes compared to the second quarter of 2021.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

  • In July, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) announced, along with Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Mesa Airlines, an investment in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace.
  • Announced a new goal to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 50% compared to 2019 by 2035.
  • More than 43 million miles donated by MileagePlus® members to charities in need of travel through United’s mile crowd-sourcing platform “Miles on a Mission”.
  • Over 30 million miles were raised to help support Afghan refugee resettlement efforts.
  • Over 4,300 volunteer hours were served by more than 1,000 United employee volunteers in the third-quarter.
  • September of Service, a month-long series of employee-driven volunteer events honoring the 20th anniversary of 9/11, included over 2,200 hours served by nearly 800 United volunteers, with nearly 185,000 meals packed, as well as 5,000 pounds of trash collected, and volunteer events held at 17 different cities across the country, including all United hubs.
  • Through a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flights, United has transported nearly 255 million pounds of freight, which includes nearly 22 million pounds of vital shipments, such as medical kits, personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, and more than 800,000 pounds of military packages in the third-quarter.
  • Transported more than 160 million COVID-19 vaccines all over the world in the third-quarter.

United Airlines announces 5 new international destinations

United today announced the largest transatlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new, vogue destinations – Amman, JordanBergen, Norway; Azores, PortugalPalma de MallorcaSpain and Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. All of the new routes – which are set to begin in Spring 2022 – are not served by any other North American carrier. Additionally, next year, United will add new flights to five popular European destinations: BerlinDublinMilanMunich and Rome. Lastly, United will launch seven routes that were interrupted due to the pandemic to BangaloreFrankfurtTokyo’s Haneda Airport, Nice and Zurich. Flights are subject to government approval.

Amman, Jordan

United will begin new capital to capital service between Washington, D.C. and Amman, Jordan starting May 5. Customers will be able to explore the numerous historical sites in and around Amman, as well as visit Jordan’s other top destinations including Petra, the Dead Sea and the Wadi Rum desert. United will be the only North American carrier flying direct to Amman with service three times weekly with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

United will add a third Portuguese destination to its global network with brand new flights between New York/Newark and Ponta Delgada in the Azores beginning May 13. The carrier will offer the most flights between the U.S. and Portugal of any North American airline and will be the only airline to fly to the Azores from the New York metro area. This daily service joins United’s existing flights to Porto, which will return in March, and Lisbon, which the airline is currently operating from New York/Newark and will resume from Washington, D.C. next summer. United will fly a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft featuring United’s new signature interior with enhanced seat back entertainment with Bluetooth connectivity and overhead bin space for every customer.

Bergen, Norway

Beginning May 20, United will become the only U.S. carrier to fly to Norway with flights launching between New York/Newark and Bergen. United will offer three times weekly service on a Boeing 757-200, allowing customers to experience Bergen’s surrounding mountainous landscape and breathtaking fjords. United will be the only carrier to fly to Bergen from the U.S.

Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

United is expanding its Spanish beach getaway destinations with three times weekly flights between New York/Newark and Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, launching June 2 with a Boeing 767-300ER. This will be the first and only flight between the U.S. and Mallorca and will add to United’s existing service to Madrid and Barcelona.

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Travelers looking for an additional new beach destination can enjoy the stunning black and white sand beaches of Spain’s Canary Islands with United’s new flight from New York/Newark to Tenerife. United will be the only airline to fly direct between the Canary Islands and North America with three-times weekly service launching June 9 with a Boeing 757-200. Along with the new service to Palma de Mallorca, United will fly to more Spanish destinations from North America than any other airline.

Amman, Jordan
3x week
May 5, 2022
Ponta Delgado, Azores, Portugal
3x week/daily*
May 13, 2022
Bergen, Norway
3x week
May 20, 2022
Tenerife, Spain
3x week
June 2, 2022
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3x week
June 9, 2022

* EWR-PDL operates daily June-August 2022

Expanded European Service

United is also adding flights to some of Europe’s most iconic cities in anticipation of a resurgence in visitors. Next spring United will add:

  • New daily flights between Denver and Munich – joining existing service from Denver to Frankfurt and London which is expected to resume in March. United is the only U.S. airline to offer transatlantic service from Denver.
  • New daily flights between Chicago and Milan, joining existing seasonal flights between Chicago and Rome. United will be the only airline to offer a direct flight between Chicago and Milan, adding to its existing service between New York/Newark and Milan.
  • New daily capital to capital service between Washington, D.C. and Berlin, joining our other service to Berlin from New York/Newark. United is the only U.S. airline with direct flights to Berlin.
  • An additional daily flight from New York/Newark to Dublin and Rome.

In addition to these new routes, United will begin seven routes that were interrupted by the pandemic:

  • Daily flights between San Francisco and Bangalore beginning May 26
  • Daily flights between New York/Newark and Nice beginning April 29
  • A second daily flight between New York/Newark and Frankfurt beginning April 23
  • Daily flights between Chicago and Zurich beginning April 23
  • Flights from Washington, D.C.Los Angeles and New York/Newark to Tokyo’s Haneda airport by March 26
Munich, Germany
April 23, 2022
Dublin, Ireland (2nd daily flight)
April 23, 2022
Berlin, Germany
May 6, 2022
Milan, Italy
May 6, 2022
Rome, Italy (2nd daily flight)
May 26, 2022

Even more new destinations to fall in love with

In addition to the new routes, we will begin service to seven routes next year that were interrupted by the pandemic, including launching service to Bangalore and Nice and adding flights to Zurich, Tokyo Haneda and Frankfurt. 


Tokyo, Japan
By March 26, 2022
Tokyo, Japan
By  March 26, 2022
Tokyo, Japan
March 26, 2022
Frankfurt, Germany (2nd daily flight)
April 23, 2022
Zurich, Switzerland
April 23, 2022
Nice, France
April 29, 2022
Bangalore, India
May 26, 2022

United plans to fly 91% of its pre-pandemic schedule ahead of holiday season

United Airlines today announced that it will fly its biggest domestic schedule since the start of the pandemic to meet an expected surge in holiday travel, with an emphasis on connecting the Midwest to warm weather cities like Las Vegas and Orlando as well as offering nearly 70 daily flights to ski destinations, including new service between Orange County and Aspen.

According to United, holiday travel flight searches on united.com and the airline’s app are up 16%, compared to 2019. The airline expects the busiest travel days for the Thanksgiving holiday will be Wednesday, November 24 and Sunday, November 28, while popular days for winter holiday travel are expected to be Thursday, December 23 and Sunday, January 2.

The airline plans to offer more than 3,500 daily domestic flights in December, representing 91% of its domestic capacity compared to 2019.

“We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that centers on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow,” said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling at United. “We know families and friends are eager to reunite this holiday season, which is why we’re thrilled to add new flights that will help them connect and celebrate together.”

In December, United will begin new direct flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix from Cleveland, and to Orlando from Indianapolis. The carrier also will resume eight popular direct flights from Midwest cities, including routes to Fort LauderdaleFort MyersOrlando and Tampa, offering the most departures the airline has flown from Cleveland since 2014 including direct service to Nassau and Cancun. United will offer up to 195 daily flights to 12 destinations in Florida this winter, the most flights to the Sunshine State in company history. United is also resuming direct flights from ColumbusIndianapolisMilwaukee and Pittsburgh to Fort Myers – which were some of the airline’s most popular point-to-point flights last winter.

First 757-200 in the new 2019 livery

Photo: United Airlines. A Boeing 757-200 (N48127) has been painted in the new livery.

Customers who prefer fresh powder can enjoy more flights to ski destinations with United than any other carrier. The airline offers 66 daily flights to over a dozen ski destinations across the U.S., including brand new service beginning this December between Orange County and Aspen. This winter season, United will have flights to Aspen/Snowmass, Mammoth, Bozeman/Big Sky, Eagle/Vail, Kalispell, Gunnison/Crested ButteHayden/Steamboat Springs, Jackson Hole, Montrose/TellurideReno/Tahoe, Sun Valley from its hub airports.

United Airlines aircraft slide show:


United becomes first airline to introduce PayPal QR codes as inflight payment option

United and PayPal today announced a new way to make touch-free inflight purchases, even in areas without Wi-Fi. Starting next month, United customers on select flights can simply show a flight attendant the PayPal QR Code in the PayPal app and use it to buy snacks, drinks and other inflight purchases while onboard.

United is the first airline to offer PayPal QR Codes, and this partnership is part of United’s easy-to-use, industry-leading suite of contactless payment tools. United was the first airline to give customers in economy cabins the option to pre-order snacks and beverages from the airline’s app and website, and also offers customers the ability to easily store payment information in a digital wallet.

PayPal QR Codes can be used on select flights departing from Chicago O’ Hare International Airport in November and before the end of the year, will extend to all flights across the entire network where contactless payment is available.

How It Works

  • If you haven’t already, download the PayPal app and set your preferred payment method for QR code payments, prior to leaving the gate
  • To make an inflight purchase, Click the ‘Pay with QR codes’ button
  • Then click the ‘In-flight Purchase’ button
  • Show the QR code to the flight attendant to scan
  • Look for an emailed confirmation receipt upon landing

United’s New Buy-On-Board Menu

Customers can pay using PayPal QR Codes to enjoy one of many new food and beverage offerings United launched this year. In June, United unveiled its refreshed buy-on-board menu, which includes:

  • Three New Snack Boxes: A Tapas snack box with European-inspired offerings; a Takeoff snack box with high-protein options; a Recline snack box with movie theater themed treats.
  • New A la Carte Snack Options: Including sweet potato “tortilla” chips with roasted pepper salsa, trail mix and chocolate-covered dried fruit.
  • New Adult Beverage Options: Mango White Claw®; red, white and sparkling wine, and new beer options such as Breckenridge Brewery Juice Drop Hazy IPA and Michelob ULTRA®.
  • New Fresh Options: Last month, United also added five new fresh retail offerings to its buy-on-board menu including:
    • Morning Menu:
      • Beatrix Market Chia Seed Pudding: Beatrix Market’s signature Chia Seed Pudding with fresh mango and toasted coconut
      • Bacon, Egg and Cheese Spiral Croissant: Shoulder bacon, fried egg patty with black pepper and cheddar cheese on a butter spiral croissant
    • Afternoon/Evening Menu:
      • Beatrix Market Mediterranean Grain Bowl: Protein-packed grain bowl features bulgur, a black lentil and carrot salad, roasted zucchini and bell peppers and is served with a bright lemon vinaigrette
      • Classic Beef Butter Burger with Cheddar: Old fashioned cheeseburger with cheddar and pickles on a buttered brioche bun
      • Kindred Creamery Selection Cheese Tray: Cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, Colby jack cheese, Monterey jack cheese, along with crackers and dried cherry and almond mix

New Domestic Premium Cabin Menu Items

United also introduced brand-new meal offerings to customers seated in domestic premium cabins on flights over 1,500 miles and hub-to-hub flights over 800 miles.

  • The enhanced meal service includes a choice of entrees – including fresher options like egg scramble with plant-based chorizo and grilled chicken breast with orzo and lemon basil pesto – sides and dessert.
  • United has also teamed with Eli’s Cheesecake to create a uniquely United chocolate pie flavor called “Pie in the Sky.”
  • The meals will be served on one tray, with items individually wrapped, to limit person-to-person contact and further the safety of our employees and customers.

BBC: United Airlines CEO: Insisting on vaccines “right thing to do”

From the BBC:

“The boss of United Airlines has told the BBC that firing staff who refuse to get a coronavirus vaccine is “just the right thing to do”.”

Read the full article:


United Airlines and Airlink announce a new codeshare agreement

United Airlines and Airlink, a South African airline, announced a new codeshare agreement that will offer customers more connections between the U.S. and Southern Africa than any other airline alliance.

The new agreement, which is subject to government approval, will offer one stop connections from the U.S. to more than 40 destinations in Southern Africa. Additionally, United will be the first airline to connect its loyalty program with Airlink, allowing MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles when they travel on Airlink flights. This new cooperation will be in addition to United’s existing partnership with Star Alliance member South African Airways.

United has continued to expand its footprint into Africa, with direct service to four African destinations. Earlier this month, United announced flights between Washington, D.C. and Lagos Nigeria will begin November 29, subject to government approval.

Earlier this year, United launched new service between New York/Newark and Johannesburg, South Africa and between Washington, D.C. and Accra, Ghana, which is expected to operate daily this December and January. United’s popular service between New York/Newark and Cape Town, South Africa will also resume on December 1.

This new codeshare will be implemented upon final government approvals

United Airlines reports 97% of its US employees are vaccinated

United Airlines (Chicago) has reported that 97% of its U.S.-based employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This comes less than a week before the company’s deadline for employees to get the vaccine or be terminated.

The company says this amount does not include a “small number” of employees who are seeking a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement.

United to start Washington Dulles – Lagos flights on November 29

United Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner N12010 (msn 40926) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 955099.

United Airlines announced today that new service between Washington (Dulles) and Lagos, Nigeria will begin on November 29 (subject to government approval).

The airline will operate three weekly flights.

United will operate this route with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 28 United Polaris® business class lie-flat seats, 21 United Premium Plus® premium economy seats, 36 Economy Plus® seats and 158 standard economy seats. This flight is the only service between the U.S. and Nigeria to offer premium economy product. Flights will depart Washington, D.C. on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and return from Lagos on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Top Copyright photo: United Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner N12010 (msn 40926) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 955099.

United Airlines aircraft slide show: