United Airlines Warns Of Uncertain Future

Daniel Fowkes
21 Oct 2023
· Airlines 
A United Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

United Airlines has enjoyed record-breaking international performance for the third quarter, with strong domestic demand.

However, the major U.S. carrier has warned that the current operating climate could negatively impact its fourth quarter.

Concerns Outlined For The Future At United

United Airlines says its fourth-quarter performance will be impacted thanks to higher fuel costs.

Additionally, with conflict resulting in a suspension of flights towards Tel Aviv, their performance is set to be hurt.

Fuel costs are expected to average $3.28 per gallon, up 11% from the third quarter.

Airlines worldwide, including major U.S.-based companies, have suspended flights towards Israel.

However, United Airlines’ services to Israel were much more vital than those of other companies within the United States.

United served Tel Aviv from San Francisco, Newark and Washington D.C. before it axed all flights thanks to the escalating tensions and unsafe environment.

As a result, the expectation is that United Airlines will be hurt more by the suspension than other companies.

Breaking Down Third Quarter At United

United Airlines reported a quarterly pre-tax income of USD 1.5 billion and a quarterly operating profit of USD 1.7 billion.

This represented a 19% improvement for the same period in 2022 and 2019, before the pandemic.

With USD 15 billion in operating revenues, United also substantially increased overall capacity with a 16% rise. Load factors came in at 86%, one percentage point down from one year prior.

Highlights For United Airlines

United Airlines says the third quarter away from performance offered them many highlights.

This included the introduction of the new United First seat that includes wireless charging and 13-inch seatback entertainment for domestic flights.

The airline opened two new United Club locations in Denver, with the most significant club space at 35,000 sq. ft.

United says it also set a company record for the highest daily average of revenue passengers ever carried in a quarter, equating to close to 500,000.

Meanwhile, it flew to over 436 domestic markets on mainline aircraft, up from 367 before the pandemic, while also experiencing solid growth in Denver.

Comments From Executives

Thank you to our extraordinary United team who delivered a record-setting operational performance for our customers in August and September. Our strategy to diversify our revenue streams, capitalize on growth opportunities and constantly innovate to enhance our products for our customers is paying off. Our United Next strategy is working and we remain on track to hit our financial targets.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby.

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