United Airlines has reported third-quarter net income of $965 million, diluted earnings per share of $3.01, pre-tax earnings of $1.5 billion and pre-tax margin of 15.2 per cent.
“We delivered another very good quarter, demonstrating the progress United continues to make at improving our customer experience, which included our best third quarter on-time performance in company history,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines.
“As we execute our strategy to build the world’s best airline, we will remain intensely focused on engaging our employees, running a great operation and improving our financial performance.”
For the third quarter of 2016, total revenue was $9.9 billion, a decrease of 3.8 per cent year-over-year.
Third-quarter 2016 consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile decreased 5.8 per cent and consolidated yield decreased 5.7 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2015.
The decline in PRASM continues to be driven by factors including a strong US dollar, lower surcharges, reductions from energy-related corporate travel, and declining yields.
Total operating expense including special charges was $8.3 billion in the third quarter, down 1.4 per cent year-over-year.
Excluding special charges, total operating expense was $8.2 billion, a one per cent improvement year-over-year.
In the third quarter, UAL generated $1.1 billion in operating cash flow and ended the quarter with $6.2 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility.
The company continued to invest in its business through capital expenditures of $689 million in the third quarter.
Including assets acquired through the issuance of debt and airport construction financing and excluding fully reimbursable projects, the company invested $679 million in adjusted capital expenditures during the third quarter.
Free cash flow, measured as operating cash flow less adjusted capital expenditures, was $459 million in the third quarter and $2.6 billion year-to-date.