United Airlines CEO expects Q2 to be a historic inflection point


United Airlines CEO expects Q2 to be a historic inflection point

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Wajeeh Khan

Apr 20, 2022

United Airlines reported weaker-than-expected results for its fiscal Q1.

The Chicago-based air carrier offered pleasing guidance for the future.

United Airlines shares are up 8.0% in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) on Wednesday reported weaker-than-expected Q1 results. Shares still jumped 8.0% after the air carrier said it expects to be profitable in 2022 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

United Airlines Q1 financial highlights

Lost $1.38 billion in the first quarter versus the year-ago figure of $1.36 billion.Per-share loss stood at $4.24, a slight decline from last year’s $4.29.On an adjusted basis, the airline holding company lost $4.24 in fiscal Q1.Revenue more than doubled to $7.57 billion, as per the earnings press release.FactSet consensus was for $4.22 of adjusted per-share loss on $7.67 billion in revenue.Average price per gallon of fuel was up 65% on a year-over-year basis.

Future outlook and CEO Kirby’s remarks

United Airlines is confident that it’ll return to profitability in the current fiscal quarter as revenue climbs to an all-time high.

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It forecasts a 16% increase in Q2 costs (excluding fuel) but expects higher fares to offset that surge. The air carrier is looking at 17% growth in revenue per passenger mile and operating margin at 10% in the second quarter.

United expects a return to 87% of its 2019 capacity this quarter. In the earnings press release, CEO Scott Kirby said:

Demand environment is the strongest it’s been in 30 years. United and its customers will benefit from it more than any other airline. We’re now seeing clear evidence that Q2 will be a historic inflection point for our business. It leaves me more optimistic than ever about United’s future.

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