United Airlines Announces Return to Profitability | Travel Research Online


United Airlines Announces Return to Profitability

United Airlines Boeing 737-800

United Airlines (UAL) yesterday reported second-quarter 2022 financial results. The company achieved the highest second-quarter revenue in its history, delivering its first profitable quarter since COVID-19 began, despite record-high fuel prices.

For the quarter, the company saw operating revenue up 6 percent versus the same quarter in 2019 and expects to see sequential improvement in the third quarter. The company also had record-setting TRASM (Total Revenue Per Available Seat Mile), up 24 percent versus the same quarter in 2019, and expects 24 to 26 percent improvement in the third quarter over third quarter 2019. Second quarter revenue improved at a rapid pace and while the company anticipates the economy will slow in the near to medium term, the continuing pandemic recovery is more than offsetting economic headwinds — leading to expected revenue and earnings acceleration in the third quarter. As a result, the company continues to expect to be profitable for the full year 2022. Additionally, even as the industry faced several well-documented operational challenges throughout the quarter, United performed well and with the exception of Newark had operating results largely in line with 2019.

“I am grateful to the United team that has fought through severe systemic challenges impacting all of global aviation to serve our customers,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “It’s nice to return to profitability – but we must confront three risks that could grow over the next 6-18 months. Industry-wide operational challenges that limit the system’s capacity, record fuel prices, and the increasing possibility of a global recession are each real challenges that we are already addressing. These fundamental challenges have already led to higher costs, higher fuel prices but, also higher revenue, which means we’re as confident as ever we will deliver on our 9 percent adjusted pre-tax margin target in 2023.”

Second Quarter Financial Results

  • Reported second quarter 2022 net income of $329 million, adjusted net income2 of $471 million.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 capacity down 15% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 total operating revenue of $12.1 billion, up 6% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 TRASM of up 24% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 Cost Per Available Seat Mile (CASM) of up 32%, and CASM-ex2 of up 17%, compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 operating margin of 7.2%, adjusted operating margin2 of 8.2%.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 pre-tax margin of 3.8%, adjusted pre-tax margin2 of 5.0%.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 fuel price of approximately $4.18 per gallon.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 payments of long-term debt, finance leases and other financing liabilities of $1.0 billion.
  • Reported second quarter 2022 ending available liquidity3 of $22 billion.

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