United Airlines Highest Second-Quarter Pre-Tax Income - United Hub

United Airlines Achieves Highest Second-Quarter Pre-Tax Income In Company History

Company also achieves record second-quarter diluted EPS of $4.02; adjusted diluted EPS[1] of $4.21
July 16, 2019

CHICAGO, July 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced that the continued successful implementation of its strategy led to the company delivering two straight quarters of solid pre-tax margin growth - three quarters on an adjusted basis1 - and the highest second-quarter pre-tax income in the airline's history.2

"Thanks to the outstanding and sustained efforts of 95,000 United team members, United is now consistently delivering results for our customers as well as investors as we raise the mid-point of our full-year 2019 adjusted diluted EPS3 guidance with a new range of $10.50 to $12.00," said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines. "By once again delivering strong EPS over the last three months, top-tier results are now the expectation, not the exception for United."

  • Reported second-quarter net income of $1.1 billion, diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $4.02, pre-tax earnings of $1.4 billion and pre-tax margin of 11.9 percent, expanding pre-tax margin 4.0 points versus the second quarter of 2018.
  • Reported second-quarter adjusted net income of $1.1 billion, adjusted diluted EPS of $4.21, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $1.4 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 12.4 percent, expanding adjusted pre-tax margin 2.0 points versus the second quarter of 2018.1
  • Total passenger revenue increased 6.1 percent versus the second quarter of 2018.
  • Consolidated second-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.5 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated second-quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 0.4 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated second-quarter CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 0.6 percent year-over-year.
  • Repurchased $536 million of its common shares in the second quarter of 2019, at an average purchase price of $84.07 per share.
  • On July 15, 2019, the company's Board of Directors authorized a new $3 billion share repurchase program.

1 Excludes special charges, the mark-to-market impact of financial instruments and imputed interest on certain finance leases. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

2 Airline history defined as post-2010 merger.

3Excludes special charges and the mark-to-market impact of financial instruments, the nature of which are not determined at this time, and imputed interest on certain finance leases. Accordingly, UAL is not providing earnings guidance on a GAAP basis.

For more information on UAL's third-quarter and full-year 2019 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company's investor update.

Second-Quarter 2019 Highlights

Customer Experience

  • United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport voted best business class lounge in the world by the 2019 World Airline Awards from Skytrax.
  • Introduced ConnectionSaver, a new tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers connecting from one United flight to the next, while ensuring those who have already boarded the aircraft arrive at their destination on time.
  • Began flight operations at LaGuardia Airport's new Terminal B Eastern Concourse and opened newest United Club - conveniently located inside security with more than 10,500 square feet with sweeping views of the tarmac.
  • Awarded the "People's Voice" Webby Award in the "Business and Finance" category for reimagined mobile app, which debuted earlier this year.
  • Partnered with luxury skincare line Sunday Riley on new United Polaris amenity kits.
  • Awarded the Crystal Cabin Award for Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity for new onboard entertainment.
  • Received IDG's CIO 100 Award for innovative customer volunteer solicitation program.

Operations

  • Served nearly 43 million passengers, the most ever for United in the second quarter.
  • Achieved top-tier on-time departures rate performance versus the major U.S. airlines, despite headwinds caused by unusually high weather and ATC delays.
  • For the second quarter United had the second-best completion factor and the second fewest cancellations among the major U.S. airlines.

Employees

  • Received "Best-of-the-Best" award for commitment to diversity and inclusion by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), demonstrating the airline's industry-leading results across all diverse segments and its commitment to building a more diverse economy.
  • Honored with the "DiversityInc Top 50" designation, lauding the airline's leadership in promoting diversity through talent development, leadership accountability and a top supplier diversity program.
  • Expect profit sharing for 2019 to be about 20 percent higher per participating employee year-over-year.
  • Hosted more than half of the company's 25,000 flight attendants at 17 separate Backstage 2019 events, which are designed to underscore the important role flight attendants play in delivering great service.

Network

  • Started 34 new domestic and international routes, including brand-new summer service between New York/Newark and Prague, and the only nonstop service between the United States and Naples, Italy.
  • Resumed popular seasonal service on 28 routes offering customers more access than ever before to connect to 54 countries around the world on United's industry-leading global network.
  • Announced the only nonstop service from the United States to Cape Town, South Africa, and announced a second daily nonstop service between San Francisco and Hong Kong.
  • Launched ninth daily nonstop flight between the United States and Germany from its hub at Denver International Airport, becoming the only U.S. airline connecting Denver to Frankfurt nonstop.
  • Tentatively granted a total of four daily nonstop flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport from United's hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.
  • Unveiled 2019 college football flying schedule, adding around 10,000 seats between its hubs and popular game destinations and, for the first time, adding several point-to-point flights enabling fans to fly nonstop from one college town to another.
  • Entered into a new alliance agreement with New Delhi-based airline Vistara - further expanding the airline's global route network to more than 20 destinations throughout India and expected to begin in the fall.

Fleet

  • Unveiled next paint design, which brings a refreshed look to its fleet, serving as a visual representation of the airline's ongoing brand evolution while staying true to the history it has developed over the past 93 years of proudly serving customers around the world.
  • Took delivery of two Boeing 787-10 aircraft, two used Airbus A319 aircraft, and seven Embraer E175 aircraft operated by our regional partners.
  • Signed agreement to purchase 19 used Boeing 737-700 aircraft with deliveries expected beginning in December.

Community and Environment

  • Made history with the departure of the "Flight for the Planet," the most eco-friendly commercial flight of its kind in the history of aviation, becoming the first known airline to demonstrate all of the following key actions on a single commercial flight: utilization of sustainable aviation biofuel, zero cabin waste efforts, carbon offsetting, and operational efficiencies.
  • Became the first public company to be inducted into Pride Live's Stonewall Ambassador program in recognition of the airline's commitment to LGBTQ+ equality.
  • Reached a milestone of 1 million meals packed for charity partner Rise Against Hunger, a global nonprofit, working to end hunger by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize critical resources.
  • Renewed contract with Boston-based World Energy, agreeing to purchase up to 10 million gallons of cost-competitive, commercial-scale, sustainable aviation biofuel over the next two years.
  • Revealed the two winning designs for Her Art Here, a first-of-its-kind contest designed to find and uplift underrepresented women artists by providing a chance to have their work painted on a canvas like no other - a United Airlines aircraft. The painted aircraft will begin flying in the fall.
  • Announced new and exciting opportunities to help customers celebrate Pride Month through MileagePlus Exclusives benefiting United charity partner The Trevor Project.

Earnings Call

UAL will hold a conference call to discuss its second-quarter 2019 financial results and its financial and operational outlook for third-quarter and full-year 2019 on Wednesday, July 17, at 9:30 a.m. Central time /10:30 a.m. Eastern time. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at ir.united.com. The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for three months.

Every customer. Every flight. Every day.

In 2019, United is focusing more than ever on its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers' best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today's announcement, United recently announced that luxury skincare line Sunday Riley will make products exclusively for United customers to experience in amenity kits, released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry, introduced ConnectionSaver, a new tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers connecting from one United flight to the next and made DIRECTV free for every passenger on 211 aircraft, offering more than 100 channels on seat back monitors on more than 30,000 seats.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." We are more focused than ever on our commitment to customers through a series of innovations and improvements designed to help build a great experience: Every customer. Every flight. Every day. Together, United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 356 airports across five continents. In 2018, United and United Express operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 158 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 783 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express carriers operate 561 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements included in this release are forward-looking and thus reflect our 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 our operations and business environment that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Words such as "expects," "will," "plans," "anticipates," "indicates," "believes," "estimates," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook," "goals," "targets" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements that do not relate solely to historical facts, such as statements 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 us on the date of this release. We undertake 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. Our actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, without limitation, the following: our ability to execute our strategic operating plan, including our growth, revenue-generating and cost-control initiatives; general economic conditions (including interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, investment or credit market conditions, crude oil prices, costs of aircraft fuel and energy refining capacity in relevant markets); risks of doing business globally, including instability and political developments that may impact our operations in certain countries; demand for travel and the impact that global economic and political conditions have on customer travel patterns; our capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of our competitors; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; changes in aircraft fuel prices; disruptions in our supply of aircraft fuel; our ability to cost-effectively hedge against increases in the price of aircraft fuel, if we decide to do so; the effects of any technology failures or cybersecurity breaches; disruptions to services provided by third-party service providers; potential reputational or other impact from adverse events involving our aircraft or operations, the aircraft or operations of our regional carriers or our code share partners or the aircraft or operations of another airline; our ability to attract and retain customers; the effects of any terrorist attacks, international hostilities or other security events, or the fear of such events; the mandatory grounding of aircraft in our fleet; disruptions to our regional network; the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; the success of our investments in other airlines, including in other parts of the world; industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; the ability of other air carriers with whom we have alliances or partnerships to provide the services contemplated by the respective arrangements with such carriers; costs associated with any modification or termination of our aircraft orders; disruptions in the availability of aircraft, parts or support from our suppliers; our ability to maintain satisfactory labor relations and the results of any collective bargaining agreement process with our union groups; any disruptions to operations due to any potential actions by our labor groups; labor costs; an outbreak of a disease that affects travel demand or travel behavior; the impact of any management changes; extended interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports where we operate; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including Open Skies agreements, environmental regulations and the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union); the seasonality of the airline industry; weather conditions; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; the costs and availability of financing; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; our ability to comply with the terms of our various financing arrangements; our ability to realize the full value of our intangible assets and long-lived assets;-; and other risks and uncertainties set forth under Part I, Item 1A., "Risk Factors," of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the reports we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

-tables attached-

On January 1, 2019, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. ("UAL") adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases ("Topic 842"). As such, certain previously reported 2018 figures are adjusted in this report on a basis consistent with Topic 842.

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)



Three Months Ended
June 30,


%
Increase/



Six Months Ended

June 30,


%
Increase/


(In millions, except per share data)

2019


2018


(Decrease)



2019


2018


(Decrease)

Operating revenue:














Passenger

$

10,486



$

9,880



6.1




$

19,211



$

18,030



6.6



Cargo

295



314



(6.1)




581



607



(4.3)



Other operating revenue

621



583



6.5




1,199



1,172



2.3



Total operating revenue

11,402



10,777



5.8




20,991



19,809



6.0

















Operating expense:














Salaries and related costs

3,057



2,878



6.2




5,930



5,604



5.8



Aircraft fuel

2,385



2,390



(0.2)




4,408



4,355



1.2



Regional capacity purchase

715



693



3.2




1,403



1,323



6.0



Landing fees and other rent

660



625



5.6




1,248



1,204



3.7



Depreciation and amortization

560



538



4.1




1,107



1,062



4.2



Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs

421



438



(3.9)




829



878



(5.6)



Distribution expenses

442



393



12.5




802



735



9.1



Aircraft rent

73



119



(38.7)




154



246



(37.4)



Special charges (B)

71



129



NM




89



169



NM



Other operating expenses

1,546



1,429



8.2




3,054



2,826



8.1



Total operating expense

9,930



9,632



3.1




19,024



18,402



3.4

















Operating income

1,472



1,145



28.6




1,967



1,407



39.8

















Operating margin

12.9

%


10.6

%


2.3


pts.


9.4

%


7.1

%


2.3


pts.

Adjusted operating margin (Non-GAAP) (A)

13.5

%


11.8

%


1.7


pts.


9.8

%


8.0

%


1.8


pts.















Nonoperating income (expense):














Interest expense

(191)



(163)



17.2




(379)



(325)



16.6



Interest capitalized

21



12



75.0




43



30



43.3



Interest income

38



25



52.0




67



42



59.5



Miscellaneous, net (B)

14



(164)



NM




23



(117)



NM



Total nonoperating expense

(118)



(290)



(59.3)




(246)



(370)



(33.5)

















Income before income taxes

1,354



855



58.4




1,721



1,037



66.0

















Pre-tax margin

11.9

%


7.9

%


4.0


pts.


8.2

%


5.2

%


3.0


pts.

Adjusted pre-tax margin (Non-GAAP) (A)

12.4

%


10.4

%


2.0


pts.


8.6

%


6.5

%


2.1


pts.















Income tax expense (D)

302



172



75.6




377



209



80.4



Net income

$

1,052



$

683



54.0




$

1,344



$

828



62.3

















Diluted earnings per share

$

4.02



$

2.48



62.1




$

5.07



$

2.95



71.9



Diluted weighted average shares

261.6



275.6



(5.1)




264.9



280.2



(5.5)




NM Not meaningful

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

PASSENGER REVENUE INFORMATION AND STATISTICS


Passenger revenue information is as follows:



2Q 2019

Passenger

Revenue

(millions)


Passenger

Revenue

vs.

2Q 2018


PRASM

vs.

2Q 2018


Yield

vs.

2Q 2018


Available

Seat Miles

vs.

2Q 2018


2Q 2019
Available Seat
Miles (millions)

Domestic

$

6,547


5.9%


1.9%


1.5%


4.0%


41,484













Atlantic

1,927


5.6%


0.6%


(1.5%)


5.0%


14,114

Pacific

1,135


2.9%


2.8%


(1.1%)


0.1%


10,753

Latin America

877


13.6%


9.1%


6.5%


4.1%


6,889

International

3,939


6.5%


3.2%


0.4%


3.1%


31,756













Consolidated

$

10,486


6.1%


2.5%


1.0%


3.6%


73,240

Select operating statistics are as follows:



Three Months Ended

June 30,


%

Increase/

(Decrease)



Six Months Ended

June 30,


%

Increase/

(Decrease)



2019


2018





2019


2018




Passengers (thousands)

42,592



41,058



3.7




79,046



75,553



4.6



Revenue passenger miles (millions)

63,001



59,945



5.1




116,098



109,794



5.7



Available seat miles (millions)

73,240



70,702



3.6




138,885



132,679



4.7



Passenger load factor:














Consolidated

86.0

%


84.8

%


1.2


pts.


83.6

%


82.8

%


0.8


pts.

Domestic

87.5

%


87.1

%


0.4


pts.


85.2

%


85.1

%


0.1


pts.

International

84.0

%


81.7

%


2.3


pts.


81.5

%


79.7

%


1.8


pts.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents)

14.32



13.97



2.5




13.83



13.59



1.8



Total revenue per available seat mile (cents)

15.57



15.24



2.2




15.11



14.93



1.2



Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents)

16.64



16.48



1.0




16.55



16.42



0.8



Cargo ton miles (millions)

831



855



(2.8)




1,636



1,672



(2.2)



Aircraft in fleet at end of period

1,344



1,308



2.8




1,344



1,308



2.8



Average stage length (miles)

1,469



1,460



0.6




1,459



1,452



0.5



Average full-time equivalent employees

90,779



86,743



4.7




89,761



86,157



4.2



Average aircraft fuel price per gallon

$

2.16



$

2.26



(4.4)




$

2.11



$

2.19



(3.7)



Fuel gallons consumed (millions)

1,102



1,058



4.2




2,087



1,990



4.9




Note: See Part II, Item 6, Selected Financial Data, of UAL's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, for definitions of these statistics.

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)


(In millions)

June 30, 2019


December 31, 2018

ASSETS




Current assets:




Cash and cash equivalents

$

3,221



$

1,694


Short-term investments

2,223



2,256


Receivables, less allowance for doubtful accounts

1,762



1,426


Aircraft fuel, spare parts and supplies, less obsolescence allowance

996



985


Prepaid expenses and other

708



733


Total current assets

8,910



7,094






Total operating property and equipment, net

28,918



27,399


Operating lease right-of-use assets

4,908



5,262






Other assets:




Goodwill

4,523



4,523


Intangibles, less accumulated amortization

3,129



3,159


Restricted cash

105



105


Notes receivable, net

518



516


Investments in affiliates and other, net

1,139



966


Total other assets

9,414



9,269


Total assets

$

52,150



$

49,024






LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY




Current liabilities:




Advance ticket sales

$

6,126



$

4,381


Accounts payable

3,033



2,363


Frequent flyer deferred revenue

2,435



2,286


Accrued salaries and benefits

1,871



2,184


Current maturities of long-term debt

1,255



1,230


Current maturities of finance leases

117



123


Current maturities of operating leases

637



719


Other

604



553


Total current liabilities

16,078



13,839






Long-term debt and other long-term liabilities and deferred credits:




Long-term debt

12,938



12,215


Long-term obligations under finance leases

202



224


Long-term obligations under operating leases

5,034



5,276


Frequent flyer deferred revenue

2,763



2,719


Postretirement benefit liability

1,277



1,295


Pension liability

1,366



1,576


Deferred income taxes

1,192



828


Other

980



1,010


Total long-term debt and other long-term liabilities and deferred credits:

25,752



25,143


Stockholders' equity

10,320



10,042


Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

$

52,150



$

49,024


UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)


(In millions)

Six Months Ended

June 30,


2019


2018

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:




Net cash provided by operating activities

$

4,625



$

4,152






Cash Flows from Investing Activities:




Capital expenditures

(2,467)



(1,671)


Purchases of short-term and other investments

(1,443)



(1,326)


Proceeds from sale of short-term and other investments

1,484



1,455


Investment in affiliates

(27)



(139)


Loans made to others



(10)


Other, net

17



38


Net cash used in investing activities

(2,436)



(1,653)






Cash Flows from Financing Activities:




Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt

996



1,241


Payments of long-term debt

(473)



(1,294)


Repurchases of common stock

(1,062)



(969)


Principal payments under finance leases

(63)



(35)


Capitalized financing costs

(30)



(25)


Other, net

(30)



(17)


Net cash used in financing activities

(662)



(1,099)


Net increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

1,527



1,400


Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of the period

1,799



1,591


Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of the period

$

3,326



$

2,991






Investing and Financing Activities Not Affecting Cash:




Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt

$

220



$

125


Operating lease conversions to finance lease

36




Right-of-use assets acquired through operating leases

99



103


Property and equipment acquired through finance leases

8




UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL (ROIC)—Non-GAAP


ROIC is a non-GAAP financial measure that UAL believes provides useful supplemental information for management and investors by measuring the effectiveness of the company's operations' use of invested capital to generate profits.


(in millions)

Twelve Months Ended

June 30, 2019

Net Operating Profit After Tax ("NOPAT")


Pre-tax income

$

3,332


Adjustments:


Special charges and mark-to-market ("MTM") gains on financial instruments:


Impairment of assets

312


Termination of a maintenance service agreement

64


Severance and benefit costs

28


MTM gains on financial instruments

(136)


(Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges

3


Pre-tax income excluding special charges and MTM gains on financial instruments (Non-GAAP)

3,603


add: Interest expense (net of income tax benefit) (a)

721


add: Interest component of capitalized aircraft rent (net of income tax benefit) (a)

195


add: Net interest on pension (net of income tax benefit) (a)

(11)


less: Income taxes paid

(13)


NOPAT (Non-GAAP)

$

4,495






Average Invested Capital (five-quarter average)


Total assets

$

50,076


less: Non-interest bearing liabilities (b)

(17,495)


Average invested capital (Non-GAAP)

$

32,581




ROIC (Non-GAAP)

13.8

%



(a)

Income tax benefit measured based on the effective cash tax rate. The effective cash tax rate is calculated by dividing cash taxes paid by pre-tax income excluding special charges and MTM gains and losses on financial instruments. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2019, the effective cash tax rate was 0.4%.

(b)

Non-interest bearing liabilities include advance ticket sales, frequent flyer deferred revenue, deferred income taxes and other non-interest bearing liabilities.

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION


(A) UAL evaluates its financial performance utilizing various accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) and Non-GAAP financial measures, including adjusted operating income (loss), adjusted operating margin, adjusted pre-tax income (loss), adjusted pre-tax margin, adjusted net income (loss), adjusted diluted earnings (loss) per share and CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing, among others. UAL believes that adjusting for special charges is useful to investors because special charges are not indicative of UAL's ongoing performance. UAL believes that adjusting for MTM gains and losses on financial instruments is useful to investors because those unrealized gains or losses may not ultimately be realized on a cash basis. UAL believes that adjusting for interest expense related to finance leases of Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft is useful to investors because of the accelerated recognition of interest expense.


CASM is a common metric used in the airline industry to measure an airline's cost structure and efficiency. UAL reports CASM excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing. UAL believes that adjusting for special charges is useful to investors because special charges are not indicative of UAL's ongoing performance. UAL also believes that excluding third-party business expenses, such as maintenance, ground handling and catering services for third parties and fuel sales, provides more meaningful disclosure because these expenses are not directly related to UAL's core business. UAL also believes that excluding fuel costs from certain measures is useful to investors because it provides an additional measure of management's performance excluding the effects of a significant cost item over which management has limited influence. UAL excludes profit sharing because this exclusion allows investors to better understand and analyze our operating cost performance and provides a more meaningful comparison of our core operating costs to the airline industry.


Reconciliations of reported non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included below.



Three Months Ended

June 30,


%

Increase/


Six Months Ended

June 30,


%

Increase/


2019


2018


(Decrease)


2019


2018


(Decrease)

CASM (cents)












Cost per available seat mile (CASM) (GAAP)

13.56



13.62



(0.4)



13.70



13.87



(1.2)


Special charges (B)

0.10



0.18



NM



0.07



0.13



NM


Third-party business expenses

0.05



0.04



25.0



0.05



0.05




Fuel expense

3.26



3.38



(3.6)



3.17



3.28



(3.4)


Profit sharing, including taxes

0.22



0.15



46.7



0.14



0.09



55.6


CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing (Non-GAAP)

9.93



9.87



0.6



10.27



10.32



(0.5)



NM Not Meaningful

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)



Three Months Ended

June 30,


$

Increase/


%

Increase/


Six Months Ended

June 30,


$

Increase/


%

Increase/

(in millions)

2019


2018


(Decrease)


(Decrease)


2019


2018


(Decrease)


(Decrease)

Operating expenses (GAAP)

$

9,930



$

9,632



$

298



3.1



$

19,024



$

18,402



$

622



3.4


Special charges (B)

71



129



(58)



NM



89



169



(80)



NM


Operating expenses, excluding special charges

9,859



9,503



356



3.7



18,935



18,233



702



3.9


Adjusted to exclude:
















Third-party business expenses

41



29



12



41.4



71



60



11



18.3


Fuel expense

2,385



2,390



(5)



(0.2)



4,408



4,355



53



1.2


Profit sharing, including taxes

161



108



53



49.1



194



125



69



55.2


Adjusted operating expenses (Non-GAAP)

$

7,272



$

6,976



$

296



4.2



$

14,262



$

13,693



$

569



4.2


















Operating income (GAAP)

$

1,472



$

1,145



$

327



28.6



$

1,967



$

1,407



$

560



39.8


Adjusted to exclude:
















Special charges (B)

71



129



(58)



NM



89



169



(80)



NM


Adjusted operating income (Non-GAAP)

$

1,543



$

1,274



$

269



21.1



$

2,056



$

1,576



$

480



30.5


















Pre-tax income (GAAP)

$

1,354



$

855



$

499



58.4



$

1,721



$

1,037



$

684



66.0


Adjusted to exclude:
















Special charges (B)

71



129



(58)



NM



89



169



(80)



NM


MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)

(34)



135



(169)



NM



(51)



90



(141)



NM


Interest expense on ERJ 145 finance leases (C)

25





25



NM



46





46



NM


Adjusted pre-tax income (Non-GAAP)

$

1,416



$

1,119



$

297



26.5



$

1,805



$

1,296



$

509



39.3


















Net income (GAAP)

$

1,052



$

683



$

369



54.0



$

1,344



$

828



$

516



62.3


Adjusted to exclude:
















Special charges (B)

71



129



(58)



NM



89



169



(80)



NM


MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)

(34)



135



(169)



NM



(51)



90



(141)



NM


Interest expense on ERJ 145 finance leases (C)

25





25



NM



46





46



NM


Income tax benefit related to adjustments above

(14)



(59)



45



NM



(19)



(58)



39



NM


Adjusted net income (Non-GAAP)

$

1,100



$

888



$

212



23.9



$

1,409



$

1,029



$

380



36.9


















Diluted earnings per share (GAAP)

$

4.02



$

2.48



$

1.54



62.1



$

5.07



$

2.95



$

2.12



71.9


Adjusted to exclude:
















Special charges (B)

0.27



0.47



(0.20)



NM



0.34



0.60



(0.26)



NM


MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)

(0.13)



0.49



(0.62)



NM



(0.19)



0.32



(0.51)



NM


Interest expense on ERJ 145 finance leases (C)

0.10





0.10



NM



0.17





0.17



NM


Income tax benefit related to adjustments

(0.05)



(0.22)



0.17



NM



(0.07)



(0.20)



0.13



NM


Adjusted diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)

$

4.21



$

3.22



$

0.99



30.7



$

5.32



$

3.67



$

1.65



45.0



NM Not Meaningful

UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)


UAL believes that adjusting capital expenditures for assets acquired through the issuance of debt and finance leases is useful to investors in order to appropriately reflect the total amounts spent on capital expenditures. UAL also believes that adjusting net cash provided by operating activities for capital expenditures and adjusted capital expenditures is useful to allow investors to evaluate the company's ability to generate cash that is available for debt service or general corporate initiatives.



Three Months Ended

June 30,


Six Months Ended

June 30,

Capital Expenditures (in millions)

2019


2018


2019


2018

Capital expenditures (GAAP)

$

858



$

727



$

2,467



$

1,671


Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt

128



65



220



125


Property and equipment acquired through finance leases





8




Adjusted capital expenditures (Non-GAAP)

$

986



$

792



$

2,695



$

1,796










Free Cash Flow (in millions)








Net cash provided by operating activities (GAAP)

$

2,710



$

2,443



$

4,625



$

4,152


Less capital expenditures

858



727



2,467



1,671


Free cash flow, net of financings (Non-GAAP)

$

1,852



$

1,716



$

2,158



$

2,481










Net cash provided by operating activities (GAAP)

$

2,710



$

2,443



$

4,625



$

4,152


Less adjusted capital expenditures (Non-GAAP)

986



792



2,695



1,796


Free cash flow (Non-GAAP)

$

1,724



$

1,651



$

1,930



$

2,356


UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.

NOTES (UNAUDITED)


(B) Special charges and MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments include the following:



Three Months Ended

June 30,


Six Months Ended

June 30,

(In millions)

2019


2018


2019


2018

Operating:








Impairment of assets

$

61



$

111



$

69



$

134


Severance and benefit costs

6



11



12



25


(Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges

4



7



8



10


Total special charges

71



129



89



169


Nonoperating MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments

(34)



135



(51)



90


Total special charges and MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments

37



264



38



259


Income tax benefit

(8)



(59)



(8)



(58)


Total special charges and MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments, net of income tax

$

29



$

205



$

30



$

201



Impairment of assets: During the three months ended June 30, 2019, the company recorded a $47 million impairment for aircraft engines removed from operations, a $6 million charge for the early termination of several regional aircraft finance leases and $8 million in other miscellaneous impairments. During the six months ended June 30, 2019, in addition to the charges described above, the company recorded an $8 million fair value adjustment for aircraft purchased off lease.


In May 2018, the Brazil–United States open skies agreement was ratified, which provides air carriers with unrestricted access between the United States and Brazil. The company determined that the approval of the open skies agreement impaired the entire value of its Brazil route authorities because the agreement removes all limitations or reciprocity requirements for flights between the United States and Brazil. Accordingly, the company recorded a $105 million special charge to write off the entire value of the intangible asset associated with its Brazil routes. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, the company also recorded $6 million and $29 million, respectively, of fair value adjustments related to aircraft purchased off lease and other impairments related to certain fleet types and international slots no longer in use.


Severance and benefit costs: During the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, the company recorded $6 million and $10 million, respectively, of management severance. During the six months ended June 30, 2019, the company recorded $2 million of severance and benefit costs primarily related to a voluntary early-out program for its technicians and related employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. In the first quarter of 2017, approximately 1,000 technicians and related employees elected to voluntarily separate from the company and received a severance payment, with a maximum value of $100,000 per participant, based on years of service, with retirement dates through early 2019.


During the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, the company recorded $6 million and $14 million, respectively, of severance and benefit costs related to the voluntary early-out program for its technicians and related employees, and $5 million and $11 million, respectively, of management severance.


MTM gains and losses on financial instruments: During the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, the company recorded gains of $38 million and $52 million, respectively, for the change in market value of its investment in Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. ("Azul"). During the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, the company recorded losses of $4 million and $1 million, respectively, for the change in fair value of certain derivative assets related to equity of Avianca Holdings S.A. For equity investments and derivative assets subject to MTM accounting, the company records gains and losses as part of Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net in its statements of consolidated operations.


During the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, the company recorded losses of $135 million and $90 million, respectively, for the change in market value of its investment in Azul.


(C) Interest expense related to finance leases of Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft


During the third quarter of 2018, United entered into an agreement with the lessor of 54 Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft to purchase those aircraft in 2019. The provisions of the new lease agreement resulted in a change in accounting classification of these new leases from operating leases to finance leases up until the purchase date. The company recognized $25 million and $46 million of additional interest expense in the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, respectively, as a result of this change.


(D) Effective tax rate


The company's effective tax rate for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019 was 22.3% and 21.9%, respectively. The effective tax rate for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 was 20.1% and 20.2%, respectively. The effective tax rate represents a blend of federal, state and foreign taxes and includes the impact of certain nondeductible items and the impact of a change in the company's mix of domestic and foreign earnings.

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Airlines Receives Hospital-Grade Certification for Cleaning and Safety

United is the first of the four largest U.S airlines to be certified Diamond by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying
January 12, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Airlines was recognized by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during the travel journey. United is the first airline among the four largest U.S. carriers to receive the highest possible certification - Diamond - in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpliFlying. This new scientifically-based certification is designed to create a recognized, global standard for health and safety across the aviation industry.

"Since the start of this pandemic, United has been committed to pursuing industry leading safety measures to protect the wellbeing of our customers and employees," said Sasha Johnson, United's vice president of Corporate Safety. "This recognition from APEX and SimpliFlying underscores that United will continue to innovate and raise the standard when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19."

To achieve this certification, United submitted detailed responses for audit against a 58-point checklist covering ten categories, including things like testing, contact tracing, on-the-ground procedures, in-flight measures, and strategic partnerships. For each cleaning and safety measure noted on the checklist, United shared proof points for further review by the APEX and SimpliFlying experts. United's certification as a Diamond airline means that the company's initiatives were at least 200 points above the gold-standard baseline APEX and SimpliFlying established as the minimum required to ensure passenger safety and well-being.

"United Airlines' tremendous customer-centric investments definitively merited the Diamond level of health safety across a broad scoreboard of categories focused on passenger wellbeing," APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader said.  "We applaud United's thought-leadership across key initiatives that have benefited both customers of United Airlines and the airline industry. Passengers and airline team members should be proud of United Airlines' continuous advancements for customer wellbeing."

The United CleanPlusSM program, which includes its partnerships with the Cleveland Clinic and Clorox, was one of the many efforts APEX and SimpliFlying cited when granting the airline this certification. Medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic have helped ensure United's policies and protocols reflect the latest scientific guidance, and Clorox has helped the airline redefine disinfection procedures to support a healthier environment. Other efforts APEX and SimpliFlying called out when granting United this certification include:

United was also the first major U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with all customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it wouldn't permit customers who refused to comply with the airline's mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling.

To learn more about United's cleaning and safety efforts, visit United.com/CleanPlus.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

 

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United to Hold Webcast of Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

January 06, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines will hold a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results on Thursday, January 21 at 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at ir.united.com. The company will issue its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results after market close on Wednesday, January 20.

The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for three months.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

 

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

A Message From Scott Kirby and Brett Hart

December 21, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- J. Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer, and Brett Hart, President, today issued the following message to all United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:

United Team:

We're writing today with some really good news: the Administration and Congress have come together in a bipartisan way on a relief bill that includes several items, including an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for the airlines.

United Named Best Overall Airline in the World by Global Traveler Readers

United received ten awards including Best Overall Airline, Airline of the year and Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program

December 17, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 17, 2020 – Readers from Global Traveler, a publication written for business and luxury travelers, named United Airlines the Best Overall Airline in the World as part of this year's GT Trusted Reader Survey. Additionally, a select panel of Global Traveler employees and Advisory Board members named United Airline of the Year, an honor which is based on on-time arrivals and departures, safety, brand image and more. And for the 17th consecutive year, MileagePlus® was named best Loyalty Program by Global Traveler readers. The airline earned top scores from readers in ten categories across FXExpress Publications, Inc. awards, which include Global Traveler, The Trazees and the Wherever Awards.

United and CDC Work Together on Contact Tracing Initiative for All International and Domestic Flights

Program designed to collect detailed, real-time information that will better support CDC efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19
December 16, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced a program to collect customer contact information for all international and domestic flights. During the check-in process, United customers will be prompted to voluntarily opt-in and provide contact information such as an email address, phone numbers and an address of where they will be once they reach their destination, details that were previously difficult for the CDC to obtain in real-time. This effort represents the airline industry's most comprehensive public health contact information collection program to date and the immediate access to the data will better support the CDC's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world.

United Makes Bold Environmental Commitment Unmatched by Any Airline; Pledges 100% Green by Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 100% by 2050

United will meet this ambitious goal by making industry-leading investments in new technology and sustainable fuels - not from buying carbon offsets
December 10, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today is taking its most ambitious step yet in leading the fight against climate change: pledging to become 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100% by 2050. United, which in 2018 became the first U.S. airline to commit to reducing its GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, will advance towards carbon neutrality by committing to a multimillion-dollar investment in revolutionary atmospheric carbon capture technology known as Direct Air Capture – rather than indirect measures like carbon-offsetting – in addition to continuing to invest in the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). With this unprecedented announcement, United becomes the first airline in the world to announce a commitment to invest in Direct Air Capture technology.

United Launches Virtual, On Demand Customer Service at the Airport

New "Agent on Demand" platform gives customers live, fast, contactless access to information and assistance at all U.S. hubs;
December 08, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United passengers will soon have access to virtual, on demand customer service at the airline's hubs, giving people an easy, contact-free option to get real-time information and support. Customers can access "Agent on Demand" on any mobile device to call, text or video chat live with an agent and get answers on everything from seat assignments to boarding times. Agent on Demand is currently available at Chicago O'Hare and Houston's George Bush International Airports and is rolling out to United's hubs by end of year.

United Adopts Tax Benefits Preservation Plan To Protect Valuable Tax Assets

Preserving long-term stockholder value by adopting a rights plan intended to protect tax assets Rights plan in effect immediately; will be submitted for stockholder ratification at 2021 annual meeting
December 04, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines Holdings, Inc. ("UAL" and, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously adopted a tax benefits preservation plan (the Plan) to preserve and protect the Company's ability to use its large net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) and other tax assets under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). The Plan is similar to plans adopted by other companies with significant NOLs.

As of Sept.30, 2020, UAL reported consolidated federal NOLs of approximately $8.2 billion. These NOLs, which have increased significantly in recent months, are available to reduce the Company's future federal income tax expense and represent significant value to the Company. The purpose of the Plan is to protect the Company's ability to use these tax assets, which would be substantially limited if the Company experienced an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code. Generally, an "ownership change" occurs if the percentage of UAL's stock owned by one or more of its "5-percent shareholders" (as such term is defined in Section 382 of the Code) increases by more than 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. 

In light of the volatility and decline in the market price of UAL's common stock resulting from the sharp decline in demand for air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic factors and in light of potential transactions involving the sale or issuance of UAL common stock, UAL's Board of Directors determined to adopt the Plan to prevent an inadvertent impairment of the Company's NOLs.

Pursuant to the Plan, UAL will issue, by means of a dividend, one preferred share purchase right for each outstanding share of UAL common stock to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 14, 2020. Stockholders are not required to take any action to receive the rights. Initially, these rights will not be exercisable and will trade with, and be represented by, the shares of UAL common stock.

UAL intends to submit the Plan to a vote of its stockholders at its 2021 annual meeting.  The Plan will expire on the first business day following the certification of the voting results for UAL's 2021 annual meeting, unless UAL's stockholders ratify the Plan at such meeting, in which case the Plan will continue in effect until Dec. 4, 2023, unless terminated earlier in accordance with its terms.

Under the Plan, the rights generally become exercisable only if a person or group (an "acquiring person") acquires beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of UAL common stock in a transaction not approved by the Board. In that situation, each holder of a right (other than the acquiring person, whose rights will become void and will not be exercisable) will be entitled to purchase, at the then-current exercise price, additional shares of UAL common stock at a 50% discount. The Board, at its option, may exchange each right (other than rights owned by the acquiring person that have become void) in whole or in part, at an exchange ratio of one share of UAL common stock per outstanding right, subject to adjustment. Except as provided in the Plan, the Board is entitled to redeem the rights at $0.001 per right.

If a person or group beneficially owns 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of UAL common stock prior to today's announcement of the Plan, then that person's or group's existing ownership percentage will be grandfathered. However, grandfathered shareholders will generally not be permitted to acquire any additional shares. 

Additional information regarding the Plan will be contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by UAL with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sidley Austin LLP is acting as legal counsel to UAL.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of UAL is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

 

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, 872.825.8640, media.relations@united.com

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

United Introduces Customer COVID-19 Testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean Destinations

United and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory team up to offer self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 tests to help ensure travelers meet country entry requirements
November 23, 2020

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United announced today it is expanding its customer COVID-19 testing efforts to include flights out of Houston to select destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting for flights departing on December 7, customers originating from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for the following destinations, allowing them to reunite with family or start their vacation immediately:

  • Aruba (AUA)
  • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
  • Lima, Peru (LIM)
  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
  • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
  • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    United Introduces Customer COVID-19 Testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean Destinations

    United and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory team up to offer self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 tests to help ensure travelers meet country entry requirements
    November 23, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United announced today it is expanding its customer COVID-19 testing efforts to include flights out of Houston to select destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting for flights departing on December 7, customers originating from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for the following destinations, allowing them to reunite with family or start their vacation immediately:

    • Aruba (AUA)
    • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
    • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
    • Lima, Peru (LIM)
    • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
    • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
    • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
    • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
    • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
    • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    "Widespread testing is key to unlocking international borders and safely reopening global travel. This is particularly important for our customers in Houston, who rely on United to keep them connected with their family and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United. "We'll continue to lead the way on testing – United was the first to announce a customer COVID-19 testing program and the first to offer free tests on flights across the Atlantic – and we'll look at new, innovative ways to make the travel experience even safer."

    The self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 test is $119. The test will be administered by Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) and processed at their COVID-19 testing laboratory in San Antonio, Texas. United will reach out to customers 14 days ahead of their flights to provide instructions on ordering a test and the testing process. United encourages customers to research the local requirements for further questions specific to their destination. Customers are advised to take the tests 72 hours before departure and should expect to receive results via email within 24-48 hours of mailing in their test.

    "As the energy capital of the world and most diverse city in the United States, Houston plays an influential role in linking global economies," said Sylvester Turner, City of Houston mayor. "As we fight against a second wave of the coronavirus, the private and public sectors, with guidance from public health experts, must work collaboratively and judiciously to reopen the global economy. Although a vaccine would be the ultimate solution, United's expansion of its customer testing program is a step in the right direction. I commend United for their leadership and forward-thinking."

    ADL's self-collection kit includes a plastic tube, a nasal swab and instructions on how to properly collect a specimen. ADL's telehealth system will be available to support customers traveling to countries that require a health care professional to supervise the COVID-19 test. United has worked closely with officials in each country to ensure that any customer – both visitors and nationals returning home – who tests negative will be able to enter the country.

    "Accurate and reliable testing is not only critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19, but essential in helping get this virus under control," said Stan Crawford, chief operations officer for ADL. "We are invested in United's commitment to ensuring customers not only meet their destination's entry requirements but that, when they do travel, they do so in a way that is safer."

    Click here for b-roll and visual assets of ADL's self-collection kit and testing 

    In addition to adding another key element to its layered approach to safety, United has also seen a positive impact on travel demand and significant increases in customer load factors and revenue when testing options are available. For example, after United announced its COVID-19 test for customers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii and allowing them to avoid a 14-day quarantine, the airline saw a nearly 95% increase in passengers compared to the prior two-week period. Last week, United launched the world's first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow Airport. Through this pilot program, all crew members and customers over the age of two on select flights will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test and provide a negative result in order to take the flight, ensuring that everyone on board over the age of two has tested negative before departure.

    A safer travel experience: United CleanPlusSM

    Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with all customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it wouldn't permit customers who refused to comply with the airline's mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling. United is applying Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year. 

    The latest research, including a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, shows COVID-19 exposure risk on board United aircraft is almost zero due to the airline's advanced air filtration systems, mandated mask policy and diligent cleaning protocols.

    For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.

    About United

    United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

    About Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory

    Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) is a leader in scientific testing standards for the COVID-19 virus, both in the U.S. and internationally. Located in San Antonio, Texas, ADL has over 80 years of combined experience in clinical diagnostic testing procedures and works globally with local communities to provide safe and healthy lifestyles. For more information, call ADL at 1.800.834.3522 or visit our website at ADLHealth.com.

     

    SOURCE United Airlines

    For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com