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 United Airlines Reports Third-Quarter 2018 Performance
   Tuesday, October 16, 2018 4:15:00 PM ET

CHICAGO, Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced its third-quarter 2018 financial results, reporting third-quarter net income of $836 million, diluted earnings per share of $3.06, pre-tax earnings of $1.1 billion and pre-tax margin of 9.6 percent. Tropical storms across the system are estimated to have reduced diluted earnings per share by approximately $0.07. Third-quarter diluted earnings per share increased 42 percent year-over-year. The company recaptured approximately 100 percent of its year-over-year fuel expense increase in the third quarter.

"Our stand-out third-quarter performance, which produced double-digit revenue growth as we more than offset the steep increase in fuel costs, is proof that United is building momentum," said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. "Our growth plan has been essential to our success, and we're more confident than ever we'll achieve the ambitious adjusted earnings per share1 target of $11 to $13 we laid out for 2020."

  • UAL reported third-quarter adjusted net income of $837 million, adjusted diluted earnings per share of $3.06, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $1.1 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 9.7 percent.2 Third-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 36 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 6.1 percent year-over-year, above the high end of the company's third-quarter 2018 guidance range of up 4 percent to 6 percent.
  • Consolidated unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 6.4 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.4 percent year-over-year.
  • UAL's mid-continent hubs in Chicago, Denver and Houston had year-over-year capacity growth of 9.7 percent in the third quarter and led the system in unit revenue growth performance in the quarter.
  • UAL now expects full-year 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share3 to be $8.00 to $8.75. The company currently expects to recapture approximately 90 percent of the estimated $2.5 billion year-over year increase in full-year 2018 fuel expense.

For more information on UAL's fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 guidance, please visit for the company's investor update.

Third-Quarter Highlights

Customer Experience

  • Introduced a new boarding process at 1,000 gates around the world, designed to reduce customers' stress by spending less time waiting in line and providing them with improved boarding information.
  • United Airlines MileagePlus loyalty program voted Favorite Frequent-Flyer Program in Trazee Awards.
  • The United Polaris lounge at Chicago O'Hare International Airport voted Best Business Class Lounge in the United States by the 2018 World Airline Awards from Skytrax.
  • Debuted United Corporate Preferred, the industry's newest corporate travel program designed to offer top travel benefits to the company's most loyal business customers.
  • Launched the redesigned homepage, featuring a more personalized digital experience for each customer.

Operations and Employees

  • In July, UAL had its best consolidated D :00 month of July in history and its highest consolidated load factor month ever.
  • Carried the most-ever customers to their destinations during the summer.
  • Consolidated completion factor at UAL's hubs in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington Dulles reached third-quarter record levels.
  • Achieved the top score of 100 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a prominent benchmarking metric that rates U.S. companies on their disability inclusion policies and practices, also earning UAL a place on DEI's 2018 "Best Places to Work" list.

Network and Fleet

  • Announced several new international routes, including year-round nonstop service between Washington Dulles and Tel Aviv, Israel, making UAL the only airline to offer nonstop service between the two cities; daily, year-round service between San Francisco and Amsterdam; and nonstop seasonal summer service between Newark/New York and Naples, Italy, and Newark/New York and Prague, all subject to government approval.
  • Added 100 flights and more than 10,000 seats daily to 12 of the country's top ski destinations during the 2018/2019 ski season, more than 8,500 seats from U.S. hubs and eight other U.S. cities connecting more customers than ever to Las Vegas for CES 2019, and more than 204,000 total seats from September through November to popular college football towns including Madison, Wisconsin, and Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Announced orders to purchase 25 new Embraer E-175 and 13 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
  • Took delivery of one Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and two used Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

Community and Environment

  • Committed to reducing the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, the only U.S. airline to commit to emissions reductions, further strengthening UAL's ambition to be the world's most environmentally conscious airline.
  • Launched a Crowdrise fundraising campaign to support those affected by Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut, flooding in Western Japan, wildfires in California and other disasters.
  • As part of a previously announced $8 million commitment, announced a $2 million grant to be split between the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Urban League of Essex County, and Year Up New York, as well as a $1 million grant to First Place for Youth in Los Angeles, and a $1 million grant to the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network.

Earnings Call

UAL will hold a conference call to discuss third-quarter 2018 financial results and its financial and operational outlook for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018 on Wednesday, October 17, at 9:30 a.m. Central Time /10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at . The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for three months.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,700 flights a day to 356 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 760 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express carriers operate 546 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit , follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

1Excludes special charges and the mark-to-market impact of equity investments, the nature of which are not determinable at this time. Accordingly, UAL is not providing earnings guidance on a GAAP basis.

2Excludes special charges, the mark-to-market impact of equity investments and imputed interest on certain capitalized leases. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

3Excludes special charges and the mark-to-market impact of equity investments, the nature of which are not determinable at this time, and imputed interest on certain capitalized leases. Accordingly, UAL is not providing earnings guidance on a GAAP basis.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
Certain statements included in this release are forward-looking and thus reflect our current expectations and beliefs with respect to certain current and future events and anticipated financial and operating performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be subject to many risks and uncertainties relating to our operations and business environment that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Words such as "expects," "will," "plans," "anticipates," "indicates," "believes," "estimates," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook," "goals" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements that do not relate solely to historical facts, such as statements which identify uncertainties or trends, discuss the possible future effects of current known trends or uncertainties, or which indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed or assured. All forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to us on the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Our actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, without limitation, the following: general economic conditions (including interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, investment or credit market conditions, crude oil prices, costs of aircraft fuel and energy refining capacity in relevant markets); economic and political instability and other risks of doing business globally, including political developments that may impact our operations in certain countries; demand for travel and the impact that global economic and political conditions have on customer travel patterns; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; demand for transportation in the markets in which we operate; our capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of our competitors; the effects of any hostilities, act of war or terrorist attack; the effects of any technology failures or cybersecurity breaches; the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; disruptions to our regional network; the ability of other air carriers with whom we have alliances or partnerships to provide the services contemplated by the respective arrangements with such carriers; costs associated with any modification or termination of our aircraft orders; potential reputational or other impact from adverse events in our operations, the operations of our regional carriers or the operations of our code share partners; our ability to attract and retain customers; our ability to execute our operational plans and revenue-generating initiatives, including optimizing our revenue; our ability to control our costs, including realizing benefits from our resource optimization efforts, cost reduction initiatives and fleet replacement programs; the impact of any management changes; our ability to cost-effectively hedge against increases in the price of aircraft fuel if we decide to do so; any potential realized or unrealized gains or losses related to any fuel or currency hedging programs; labor costs; our ability to maintain satisfactory labor relations and the results of any collective bargaining agreement process with our union groups; any disruptions to operations due to any potential actions by our labor groups; an outbreak of a disease that affects travel demand or travel behavior; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including Open Skies agreements and environmental regulations); industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; our ability to comply with the terms of our various financing arrangements; the costs and availability of financing; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; weather conditions; our ability to utilize our net operating losses to offset future taxable income; the impact of changes in tax laws; the success of our investments in airlines in other parts of the world; and other risks and uncertainties set forth under Part I, Item 1A., "Risk Factors," of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the reports we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

-tables attached-

On January 1, 2018, United Continental Holdings, Inc. ("UAL") adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09 (Topic 606), Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-07, Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost. As such, certain previously reported 2017 figures are adjusted in this report on a basis consistent with the new standards. See the Current Report on Form 8-K filed by UAL with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, 2018 for additional information.









United Airlines logo. (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)


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