United Airlines: Profit is tricky to gauge as scores of major firms continue to experience the consequences of the economic slump.
While the majority of businesses are still determining their outlook for 2023, United Airlines has a promising future thanks to rising travel demand.
The major airline beat Wall Street expectations for its fourth-quarter profit and its projection for the year’s first half.
The bullish outlook might be linked to rising travel demand and pricier airfares.
Due to customer demand for air travel and willingness to pay higher rates, airlines are once again profitable.
The demand for air travel has aided in offsetting the costs associated with ramping networks back up, including fuel, labor, and other expenses.
In addition, aircraft backlogs and delays have hampered airline expansion, pushing up ticket prices.
United Airlines recorded an $843 million profit in the last three months of 2022, a 31% rise from the previous three years on $12.4 billion in revenue.
Despite flying 9% fewer flights, revenue was approximately 14% greater than during the same period in 2019 (pre-pandemic).
The income assisted the airline in turning a profit despite a 21% rise in unit cost from 2020.
In extended trading on Tuesday, shares of United Airlines increased by roughly 2%.
Despite the winter storms and delays during the busy holiday travel season, the quarterly update is another encouraging indicator of a successful year-end for airlines.
The news that United Airlines will have a successful year is only one of several large airlines that have received it.
Last week, the profits and revenues of Delta Air Lines were higher than anticipated by Wall Street.
However, a greater cost due to an unanticipated pilot labor agreement weighs its projected first-quarter earnings.
American Airlines also increased its fourth-quarter profit and sales estimate.
On January 26, a report is expected.
To illustrate how United Airlines performed in the fourth quarter, Refinitiv collected average estimates.
- Adjusted earnings per share: $2.46
- Total revenue: $12.4 billion
Here are Wall Street’s predictions.
- Adjusted earnings per share: $2.10
- Total revenue $12.2 billion
United Airlines anticipates revenue between January and March 2023 to be 50% greater than it was during the same time last year.
Furthermore, the airline forecasts between 50 cents and $1 per share in its first-quarter earnings.
Refinitiv states that it is higher than the 25-cent analyst estimate.
United Airlines projects that its flying will increase by 20% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Additionally, the airlines anticipate a capacity increase in the high teens above last year for the whole year.
It predicted that unit revenues (revenue per available seat mile) would remain unchanged for the whole year compared to 2022, suggesting that the dramatic increase in pricing may continue to subside as airlines add more flights.
During an investor presentation, United said that a lack of pilots, obsolete technology, and personnel concerns would limit the industry’s capacity.
Several airlines plan to increase pilot and crew counts into the upcoming fiscal year as the aviation industry continues to struggle with a labor shortage brought on by Covid.
Tuesday saw the announcement by United Airlines of the start of the Calibrate apprenticeship program and the United Aviate Academy, which respectively launched in November and early 2022.
The airline recently announced the opening of a newly refurbished and enlarged flight attendant training facility in Houston.
Meanwhile, United and its pilots have not yet come to a new labor deal.
Although a preliminary deal for larger pay between Delta and its pilots’ union still has to be approved by the pilots,
United pilot union
The pilots union at United Airlines is preparing to pick a new leader in the wake of the previous head’s resignation, which will be finished this month, according to CEO Scott Kirby.
Kirby anticipates that when the new leader is chosen, talks will pick up again around February 7.
He stated that a pilot contract agreement should be completed immediately.
In its investor presentation, United stated that it anticipated new agreements with pilots, flight attendants, technicians, and airport staff to maintain non-fuel expenses over the previous year.
Scott Kirby said that the industry’s supply constraints are a symptom of a larger infrastructure issue, as demonstrated by the most recent system failure at the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to him, the FAA’s expansion into space and the deployment of drones taxed resources traditionally used to sustain aviation infrastructure.
“They’ve had to rob Peter to pay Paul,” said Kirby. “They just don’t have enough resources.”
In addition, Kirby said he goes to Washington, DC, twice a month to lobby for more resources.