United Airlines says it made $1 billion in the second quarter and sees strong remainder of 2023

20 July 2023

By DAVID KOENIG (AP Airlines Writer)

United Airlines said Wednesday it earned more than $1 billion in the second quarter despite canceling 3,800 flights in the last two weeks of June, when it struggled to recover from storms that crippled its key operation in the New York City area.

United indicated that it sees no let-up in strong demand for tickets: It raised its forecast of full-year profit.

The report underscores how airline revenue and profits are soaring as travel bounces back after the pandemic. Big carriers like United are benefitting especially from the strong recovery in international travel after the lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions.

Cheaper fuel is also helping. United spent $1 billion less on fuel than it did in the same quarter last year.

United’s second-quarter profit of $1.08 billion compared with $329 million in profit a year earlier. It works out to $5.03 per share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $14.18 billion. Both figures beat Wall Street expectations. Analysts had forecast earnings of $4.03 per share on revenue of $13.90 billion, according to a FactSet survey.

The peak summer travel season extends well into the July-through-September quarter, and Chicago-based United is raising its full-year forecast to between $11 and $12 per share, up from a previous $10 to $12 per share and topping analysts’ prediction of $9.78 per share.

United executives declined to discuss the results until Thursday, when they hold a call with analysts and reporters.

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