United Airlines Expects to Return to Profitability in Q3 2021

  • United Airlines announces second-quarter 2021 financial results.
  • United sees faster than expected revenue recovery.
  • Airline projects positive adjusted pre-tax income in second half of 2021.

United Airlines (UAL) today announced second-quarter 2021 financial results. The company now expects positive adjusted pre-tax income in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 as travel demand rebounds.

The company’s second quarter performance largely exceeded original expectations as international long haul and business travel accelerated even faster than anticipated, together with continued yield improvement. Looking ahead, the company expects continued gains as more businesses return by end of summer and into 2022, with a full recovery in demand anticipated by 2023.

“Thanks to the professionalism and perseverance of the United employees who have worked so hard to take care of our customers through the pandemic, our airline has reached a meaningful turning point: we’re expecting to be back to making a profit once again,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “As we emerge from the most disruptive crisis our company has faced, we’re now focused squarely on our United Next strategy that will transform our customers’ onboard experience and help fulfill United’s incredible potential.”

Second Quarter Financial Results

  • Reported second quarter 2021 capacity down 46% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 net loss of $0.4 billion, adjusted net loss of $1.3 billion.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 total operating revenue of $5.5 billion, down 52% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 Total Revenue per Available Seat Mile (TRASM) of down 11.3% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 operating expenses down 42%, down 32% excluding special charges (credits), compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 pre-tax margin of negative 10.3%, negative 29.2% on an adjusted basis.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin of negative 10.7%.
  • Raised secured financing collateralized by substantially all of United’s network of slots, routes, and gates — made up of $4 billion in a private offering of bonds, a $5 billion term loan, and a $1.75 billion revolving credit facility. This is a first of its kind financing and the largest non-merger financing transaction in airline history.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 ending available liquidity7 of approximately $23 billion.
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