United Airlines Reports Third Quarter Profit of $520 Million
United Continental Holdings Inc., parent of United Airlines, reported third-quarter 2012 net income of $520 million, or $1.35 per share, excluding $514 million of net special charges. Including special charges, third-quarter profits were $6 million, or 2 cents per share. Total revenue was $9.9 billion, a decrease of 2.6 percent year-over-year. Third-quarter consolidated passenger revenue decreased 2.6 percent to $8.8 billion, compared to the same period in 2011.
“We overcame tough operational challenges and remain focused on running a reliable airline, delivering to our customers the benefits of our product investments and delivering to our co-workers tools and training to provide good customer service,” said Jeff Smisek, UAL president and CEO.
Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased 1.5 percent, resulting in a third-quarter consolidated load factor of 85.2 percent. “In September, we entered the next phase of aircraft redeployment, as we continue to match the right aircraft to the right routes,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “Early results of our redeployment efforts are promising, and we are eager to optimize our global network and realize the full revenue potential of our merger.”
In the third quarter, United recorded a U.S. Department of Transportation domestic on-time arrival rate of 72.4 percent and a system completion factor of 98.6 percent for the quarter. For international flights, United recorded an on-time arrival rate of 71 percent.
Also in the third quarter, United took delivery of its first Boeing 787. United is the first North American carrier to take delivery of the 787, and the aircraft is the first of five new Dreamliners the airline expects to receive this year from its total order for 50 of the aircraft. The 787 will operate between Denver and Tokyo Narita, Houston and Lagos, Nigeria, and Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita and Shanghai. The airline will also operate Dreamliner service from Houston to Amsterdam and London Heathrow on a temporary basis.
United also announced an order to purchase 150 narrow-body Boeing 737 aircraft, including 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and 50 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2022. These new aircraft will replace older, less-efficient aircraft to reduce fuel and operating costs, enhance the customer experience and maximize network opportunities.
During the quarter, United launched service from Newark to Istanbul. In addition, the carrier launched service from San Francisco to Raleigh-Durham, N.C., from Denver to Shreveport, La., and from Newark to Columbia, S.C. United also announced 12 new routes during the quarter, including flights from San Francisco to Taipei, Taiwan, and Paris, as well as from Washington D.C. to San Salvador, from Cleveland to Nashville and from Chicago to Monterrey, Mexico, Thunder Bay, Canada, and Nassau, Bahamas.
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