DALLAS – United Airlines (UA) has published its financial results for the first quarter (Q1) of the 2023 financial year.
In an official statement, the airline revealed a pre-tax loss of US$256m. However, the loss aligned with the previous estimates announced in March.
Operating revenues were up by 51.1% to US$11.4bn compared to the same period in 2022, while total revenue per available seat mile had grown by 22.5%.
Cost per available seat mile (CASM) was also up by 4.0%, with the airline stating that operational reliability produced available seat miles 23.4% higher than in Q1 2022.
Like many airlines, United has also seen its expenditure increase by 28%. It said this was caused by rising fuel costs and employee expenses.
Regarding the results, Scott Kirby, UA CEO, said, “I am extremely proud of the United team’s performance during the first quarter of 2023. Our industry-leading operational performance contributed to an all-time high operating cash flow in the first quarter and keeps us on track to achieve our cost targets for the full year.”
“We are watching the macroeconomic risks carefully, but demand remains strong, especially internationally, where we are growing at twice the domestic rate. We expect all of these factors will keep us on track to achieve our full-year adjusted diluted EPS target.”
Capacity Up, Sustainability Focus
The airline has been increasing its capacity in recent months. During Q1, this was up by 22.4% year on year and the following quarter looks set to rise by 18.5% compared to Q2 2022. This followed the announcement of United’s ‘largest route expansion in the South Pacific area ever,’ including a non-stop flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Christchurch (CHC) non-stop flight, which is under governmental approval. If given the green light, it will mean that the carrier will have 66 flights weekly between Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
They have also launched the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund to support start-up companies focused on decarbonising air travel by accelerating Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) development and production.
Regarding sustainability, UA joined forces with Sesame Workshop ‘to announce Oscar the Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer as he and the airline celebrate his love of rubbish.’ The campaign, United said, ‘is designed to promote the expected benefit of using sustainable aviation fuel more broadly.’
Featured Image: United Airlines N27519 Boeing 737-9. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways.