Photo: Luca FLores

MIAMI – Yesterday, United Airlines (UA) announced that it expects to have total available liquidity of approximately $17bn at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

This dollar amount reflects committed financing of $5bn to be secured by the airline’s loyalty program, MileagePlus, which allows the airline to continue to operate, evolve, and grow the program.

In addition, $4.5bn is expected to be available to UA through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) Loan Program.

The company believes it has sufficient slots, gates, and routes available to meet the collateral coverage that may be required for the full $4.5bn available to the company under the Loan Program. 

This $9.5bn of additional liquidity will provide even more flexibility as the airline navigates the most disruptive financial crisis in the history of aviation.

Measures during pandemic

Given the impact COVID-19 has had on travel demand, United has spent the past several months aggressively and proactively cutting costs.

The airline has already reduced planned capital expenditures and operating and vendor expenditures, suspended raises and implemented an unpaid time off program for management and administrative employees.

It has also put a freeze on hiring, introduced voluntary leave and separation programs, reduced pay for all executives, and cut its CEO and President’s base salaries by 100%, among other cost-saving measures.

Furthermore, UA expects an average cash burn of approximately $40m per day in Q2 2020 and to reduce its average cash burn to approximately $30m per day in Q3 2020.

MileagePlus Program

MileagePlus has more than 100m members, over 100 program partners, and is an essential asset for UA. The program has historically generated material and stable revenues and free cash flows; it also drives customer retention and increases customer lifetime value.

Thus, UA continues to invest in making MileagePlus the top loyalty program for its members. Last year the airline announced that MileagePlus miles never expire and announced a partnership with CLEAR to offer free and discounted memberships to MileagePlus members.

United also introduced PlusPoints, a new industry-leading upgrade benefit for Premier members.

Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Certain statements in this release are forward-looking and thus reflect the Company’s 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 the Company’s operations and business environment that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

With words such as “expects,” “will,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “indicates,” “remains,” “believes,” “estimates,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “outlook,” “goals,” “targets” and similar expressions, UA intends to identify forward-looking statements.

Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements that do not relate solely to historical facts, such as those 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 the company on the date of this release.

The Company undertakes 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.