CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) – United Airlines (UAL.O) on Tuesday announced its sixth consecutive quarterly loss due to the coronavirus pandemic, although its revenue quadrupled from a year ago and exceeded estimates with a strong rebound in domestic travel.
Leisure travel to the United States has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels as more people fly on vacation or to visit friends and family in the wake of the disease. a nationwide mass vaccination campaign.
Chicago-based United said it will continue to increase its flights in the third quarter and forecast that its total unit revenue – comparing sales to flight capacity – for the period will be higher than the same quarter in 2019. , a turning point for the airline.
The company said business travel and long-haul international travel, to which it is more exposed than its competitors, have accelerated faster than expected and that it expects demand for it to recover fully. by 2023.
United’s adjusted net loss fell to $ 1.26 billion, or $ 3.91 per share, in the quarter, from $ 2.6 billion, or $ 9.31 per share, ago a year. Analysts had estimated a loss of $ 3.94, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Excluding items, the company lost $ 434 million in the second quarter. United have said they expect to be profitable in the third and fourth quarters.
United’s adjusted second-quarter operating income reached $ 5.47 billion, down from about $ 1.47 billion a year ago, above analysts’ average estimate of 5.35 billion. dollars.
U.S. airlines have played down concerns about the impact of a COVID-19 resurgence, spurred by the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has become dominant in the United States and many other countries. Read more
United’s quarterly revenue was only half of the roughly $ 10 billion it set aside in the same quarter of 2019 before the pandemic rocked the travel industry.
Its shares fell 0.5% to $ 46.08 in extended trading after the U.S. Airlines Index (.XAL) on Tuesday recorded its biggest daily percentage gain since November.
As demand returns, U.S. airlines – which have benefited from $ 54 billion in federal COVID-19 aid for workers’ wages – have rushed to restore operations.
United last month unveiled its largest ever aircraft order for 270 jets in a bid to increase domestic capacity by nearly 30% and better compete for premium and low-cost travel. Read more
He also announced a series of investments linked to sustainability and innovation as airlines face renewed scrutiny of their environmental impact. Read more
Rival Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) reported quarterly profit last week. American Airlines (AAL.O) and Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) are due to report on Thursday.
United will discuss the results with analysts and investors on Wednesday.
Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos Editing by Bill Berkrot
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