United Airlines (UAL) Reports Wider-Than-Expected Q1 Loss

United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) in its current form is a result of merger of several airlines founded in the 1920s. Over the years, the company grew through aggressive expansion and acquisitions. It was the first airline to start flights on Boeing 777 airplane in the mid-90s. Today, United is a leading airline operating across all major regions around the world.

Like rivals, United Airlines’ operations were also hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. UAL stock lost nearly half of its value in 2020 mainly due to travel restrictions in place during the pandemic. The company is still struggling to generate revenue as several countries around the world have yet to open their borders for international flight operations.

The weak demand also weighed on the company’s recently released financial results for the first quarter. United Airlines reported an adjusted loss of $7.50 per share for the three months ended March 31, wider than the loss of $7.08 per share estimated by analysts. Revenue plummeted 66 percent to $3.22 billion. Analysts on average were looking for revenue of $3.26 billion.

Commenting on the results, CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement, “The United team has now spent a year facing down the most disruptive crisis our industry has ever faced and because of their skill and dedication to our customers, we’re poised to emerge from this pandemic with a future that is brighter than ever.”

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Looking forward, United Airlines expects its total unit revenue to drop 20 percent on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter. That would be narrower than the 20 percent decline in Q1. Moreover, the company expects its capacity to be down nearly 45 percent in the second quarter, as compared to the same period last year.

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