19 April, 2023

United Airlines continues to see strong demand for air travel as first quarter cash flow exceeds $3 billion....

Achieved the lowest mainline flight and seat cancellation rates of any U.S. airline despite having the most flights impacted by weather

Seeing strong international demand in Q2; international expansion twice the rate of domestic

U.S. mega-carrier United Airlines has just reported its first-quarter 2023 financial results. The company reported a $256 million pre-tax loss, consistent with expectations provided in March. The company grew total operating revenue by 51.1% compared to first quarter 2022 and total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) by 22.5%. Cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 4.0%, while CASM-ex2 came in at down 0.1%, better than guidance due to strong operational reliability that produced available seat miles (ASMs) 23.4% higher than the first quarter of 2022. The company remains confident in the 2023 United Next adjusted diluted earnings per share1 target of $10 to $12.

"I am extremely proud of the United team's performance during the first quarter of 2023. Our industry-leading operational performance contributed to an all-time high operating cash flow in the first quarter and keeps us on track to achieve our cost targets for the full year," said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. "We are watching the macroeconomic risks carefully, but demand remains strong, especially internationally, where we are growing at twice the domestic rate. We expect all of these factors will keep us on track to achieve our full-year adjusted diluted EPS1 target."

First-Quarter Financial Results

Net loss of $194 million, adjusted net loss3 of $207 million.
Capacity up 23.4% compared to first-quarter 2022.
Total operating revenue of $11.4 billion, up 51.1% compared to first-quarter 2022.
TRASM up 22.5% compared to the first-quarter 2022.
CASM up 4.0%, and CASM-ex2 down 0.1%, compared to the first-quarter 2022.
Diluted loss per share of $0.59, adjusted diluted loss per share1 of $0.63.
Average fuel price per gallon of $3.33.
Reduced adjusted total debt3 by $4.6 billion in the last 12 months.

Key Highlights

United reached a tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) for a new, industry-leading contract for our nearly 30,000 IAM-represented employees. Voting is expected to complete in early May.

Today announced the largest South Pacific network expansion ever to and from the continental U.S., including the first non-stop flight between San Francisco and Christchurch (subject to government approval). With 66 flights between the United States and Australia/New Zealand every week, United will operate nearly 40% more flights from the United States to Australia and New Zealand next northern winter versus last year.

Launched the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight FundSM, a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle designed to support start-ups focused on decarbonizing air travel by accelerating the research, production and technologies associated with sustainable aviation fuel.

Opened expanded and newly renovated global Inflight Training Center in Houston, Texas – the $32 million expansion project more than doubles the available training space and supports the airline's plan to hire and train a total of 15,000 people in 2023, including 4,000 flight attendants.

United announced a new industry-leading family seating policy enabled by dynamic seat map technology that makes it easier for children under 12 to sit next to an adult – since launch United enabled almost 50,000 more families to sit with their children.

United collaborated with Sesame Workshop to announce Oscar the Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer as he and the airline celebrate his love of rubbish. United's campaign is designed to promote the expected benefit of using sustainable aviation fuel more broadly.

Operational Performance

Achieved the lowest first quarter seat cancel rate (1.09%) since the first quarter of 2012, leading the U.S. industry despite the greater impact of weather on United than any other airline.

United flew the most mainline seats 413,000 in company history and most mainline flights 2,300 daily for the quarter.

United finished first in on-time departures at O'Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport and second in on-time departures out of San Francisco International Airport and Dulles International Airport as well as at our international stations.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) performance for clubs and inflight service satisfaction was at an all-time high for the quarter since the launch of the NPS survey in 2020.

Through an enhanced cross-border joint business agreement with Air Canada announced industry-leading capacity and new routes between Canada and the U.S. for summer 2023.

Launched four new international routes between Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Newark/New York and between Tokyo-Haneda, Japan, and Newark/New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Reintroduced four international routes not flown since the beginning of the pandemic – service between Tokyo-Narita, Japan and Denver, Osaka, Japan and San Francisco, Hong Kong, and San Francisco, and Managua, Nicaragua, and Houston.

Resumed non-stop service between Shanghai and San Francisco, becoming the first U.S. airline to not require a technical stop between the U.S. and Shanghai since November 2020.

Increased domestic premium seat capacity 25% versus first quarter 2019.

Customer Enhancements

The new United ClubSM at O'Hare International Airport had a strong debut in January 2023 with stellar customer satisfaction scores.

During the first quarter, over 1 million customers used United's "bag drop shortcut" which streamlines the bag-check process and is active at 38 airports.

With the opening of the new Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport, added 12 gates for its operations and expects to have 17 total gates by the end of 2023.


President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint United President Brett Hart to the President's Export Council - the principal national advisory committee on international trade.

Celebrated the graduation of United Aviate Academy's inaugural class of pilots, an important step towards training the next generation of talented, qualified, and motivated aviators.

Announced a $5 million investment in algae-based fuel producer Viridos to turn microalgae into sustainable aviation fuel through the first new investment of its recently announced United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund since its launch.

Announced a $15 million investment by United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund (UAV) in carbon capture technology company Svante, that provides materials and technology as part of the value chain that has the potential to convert CO2 removed from the atmosphere and from industrial emission sources into sustainable aviation fuel.

United Airlines, Tallgrass, and Green Plains Inc. announced a new joint venture – Blue Blade Energy – to develop and then commercialize a novel sustainable aviation fuel technology that uses ethanol as its feedstock.

Nearly 4,000 hours were volunteered by more than 470 employees. More than 8.4 million miles donated by MileagePlus® members to more than 60 non-profit organizations.

Launched our Miles on a MissionSM campaign to support Turkey and Syria earthquake relief, raising nearly 400,000 miles and $25,000 for Airlink, American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen.

Nearly 300 employees participated in Martin Luther King Jr. Day parades and volunteer activities across the company's network.

Supported Sesame Workshop's Welcome Sesame initiative, delivering critically needed early childhood development opportunities to families affected by conflict and crisis.

Led a Black History Month fundraising campaign – alongside Chase and Visa – for our cardmembers, supporting The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, The Legal Defense Fund, and The United Negro College Fund.

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