United Airlines Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2018 - United Hub

United Airlines Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2018 Performance

January 15, 2019

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In a departure from industry trends, United (UAL) announced today that its fourth-quarter unit revenue came in at the high end of its guidance range and also exceeded its full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share target laid out last January. UAL reported full-year net income of $2.1 billion, diluted earnings per share of $7.70 (a 9.1 percent increase year-over-year), pre-tax earnings of $2.7 billion and pre-tax margin of 6.4 percent. UAL reported adjusted full-year net income of $2.5 billion, adjusted pre-tax earnings of $3.2 billion and adjusted pre-tax margin of 7.7 percent.1 UAL increased its full-year 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share outlook three times during the year despite a $2.4 billion year-over-year headwind from fuel. Full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 33.5 percent year-over-year to $9.13, above the high end of the company's most recent guidance range.1

"United's financial performance is a testament to the successful implementation of the first year of our strategic plan and to the record-setting operational performance powered by the more than 90,000 airline professionals who work at United," said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. "United delivered proof, not just promises in 2018 - even in the face of significant headwinds from higher than expected fuel costs. It's why I couldn't be more proud of our winning culture and customer-focused team and continue to be enthusiastic about United's bright future."

For 2019, UAL expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to again grow year-over-year to between $10.00 to $12.00.2

  • UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $462 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.70, pre-tax earnings of $556 million and pre-tax margin of 5.3 percent.
  • UAL reported fourth-quarter adjusted net income of $657 million, adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.41 and adjusted pre-tax earnings of $814 million.
  • UAL reported fourth-quarter adjusted pre-tax margin of 7.8 percent,1 expanding margin on an adjusted basis of 0.9 points versus the fourth-quarter of 2017.
  • UAL recovered 98% percent of the year-over-year increase in fuel prices in 2018.
  • Consolidated fourth-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 5 percent year-over-year, at the high end of the company's fourth-quarter 2018 guidance range.
  • Consolidated fourth-quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 7.0 percent year-over-year.
  • Consolidated fourth-quarter CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, decreased 0.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Employees earned $334 million in profit sharing for 2018.

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

2018 Highlights

Record-Setting Operational Performance3

  • Set new UAL records by flying the most revenue passengers ever, operating the most mainline departures and achieving the fewest cancellations ever in a year, resulting in more UAL customers departing on-time in 2018 than ever before.
  • For the year, achieved the best completion rate in company history with more than 1.7 million flights.
  • In 2018, achieved the best ever company STAR performance (first departures of the day), with nearly 250,000 flights leaving on time.
  • In the fourth quarter, the company achieved top-tier performance in on-time departures among its largest competitors. For the December holiday season, UAL had its best-ever on-time departure performance while flying the most revenue customers it had ever flown during the holiday period.

Customer Experience

  • Opened three new United Polaris lounges located in San Francisco International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
  • Announced UAL's newest premium seating, United® Premium Plus, which will provide more space, comfort and amenities on select international flights starting later this year.
  • Introduced a new boarding process designed to reduce customers' stress by reducing time spent waiting in line and providing them with improved boarding information.
  • Expanded personal device entertainment option to all aircraft, providing at least one free entertainment option on all Wi-Fi equipped aircraft.
  • MileagePlus loyalty program voted Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program in the world for the 15th consecutive year by readers of Global Traveler, and voted Favorite Frequent-Flyer Program in the Trazee Awards.

Employees

  • Employees earned incentive payments totaling approximately $14 million for achieving operational performance goals in the quarter, marking a full year of earned incentive payments totaling $55 million.
  • Introduced and trained over 90,000 team members on UAL's new customer service decision framework, the core4, which focuses on the principles of safe, caring, dependable and efficient.
  • Deployed 6,000 iPads to maintenance employees, improving reliability and efficiency.
  • Unveiled a state-of-the-art flight training center in Denver, Colorado - the largest in the world and home to the company's more than 30 full flight simulators representing all of UAL's fleet types.
  • Successfully completed the full implementation of the flight attendant joint collective bargaining agreement, allowing the company to operate more efficiently and reliably.
  • Achieved the top score of 100 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index (DEI), a prominent benchmarking metric that rates U.S. companies on their disability inclusion policies and practices, also earning UAL a place on DEI's 2018 "Best Places to Work" list.
  • Received "Best-of-the-Best" Award from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and National Business Inclusion Consortium for commitment to diversity and inclusion across all communities.

Network

  • Introduced 93 new routes, adding more flights in 2018 than any other U.S. airline.
  • Announced new international service including Washington-Dulles to Tel Aviv, Israel; San Francisco to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Newark/New York to Naples, Italy; as well as Newark/New York to Prague, Czech Republic and Denver to Frankfurt, Germany, all subject to government approval.
  • Launched several exciting new international routes including Houston to Sydney, San Francisco to Tahiti and Denver to London.
  • Announced schedule expansion at East Coast hubs in Newark/New York and Washington-Dulles to offer more nonstop flights to destinations popular with New York-area customers while reallocating largely connecting passenger flights to Washington-Dulles.
  • Announced a joint business agreement with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca's affiliates, pending government approval.

Fleet

  • Took delivery of 21 new Boeing aircraft, including four 777-300ER, four 787-9, three 787-10 and ten 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
  • In December 2018, ordered an additional four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and 24 737 MAX aircraft.

Community and Environment

  • Pledged to reduce the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, the only U.S. airline to commit to emissions reductions, further strengthening UAL's ambition to be the world's most environmentally conscious airline.
  • Announced a total of $8 million in grants to benefit organizations in each of UAL's domestic hub communities.
  • Announced new global partnership with the Special Olympics and flew hundreds of Team USA Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018 athletes, coaches and family members to PyeongChang, South Korea, continuing the 38-year relationship between UAL and the United States Olympic Committee.
  • Ranked No. 1 among global carriers in Newsweek's 2017 Global 500 Green Rankings, one of the most recognized environmental performance assessments of the world's largest publicly traded companies.
  • Launched a Crowdrise fundraising campaign to support those affected by Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut, flooding in Western Japan, wildfires in California and other disasters.

Earnings Call

UAL will hold a conference call to discuss its fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financial results and its financial and operational outlook for the first quarter and full year of 2019 on Wednesday, January 16, 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.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,800 flights a day to 353 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, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 770 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express carriers operate 559 regional aircraft. The airline 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 or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

1Adjusted pre-tax earnings and adjusted pre-tax margin exclude special charges, the mark-to-market ("MTM") impact of financial instruments and imputed interest on certain capitalized leases. Adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share exclude special charges, the MTM impact of financial instruments, imputed interest on certain capitalized leases and certain tax adjustments. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

2 Excludes special charges and the MTM impact of financial instruments, the nature of which are not determinable at this time, and imputed interest on certain capitalized leases. Accordingly, UAL is not providing earnings guidance on a GAAP basis.

3 Company history defined as post-2010 merger; company records measured from 2010 merger.

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" 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: 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); economic and political instability and other risks of doing business globally, including 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; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; demand for transportation in the markets in which we operate; our capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of our competitors; the effects of any hostilities, act of war or terrorist attack; the effects of any technology failures or cybersecurity breaches; the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; disruptions to our regional network; 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; potential reputational or other impact from adverse events in our operations, the operations of our regional carriers, the operations of our code share partners or the aircraft operated by another airline of the same model as operated by us, our regional carriers or our code share partners; our ability to attract and retain customers; our ability to execute our operational plans and revenue-generating initiatives, including optimizing our revenue; our ability to control our costs, including realizing benefits from our resource optimization efforts, cost reduction initiatives and fleet replacement programs; the impact of any management changes; our ability to cost-effectively hedge against increases in the price of aircraft fuel if we decide to do so; any potential realized or unrealized gains or losses related to any fuel or currency hedging programs; labor costs; 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; an outbreak of a disease that affects travel demand or travel behavior; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including Open Skies agreements and environmental regulations); industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; our ability to comply with the terms of our various financing arrangements; the costs and availability of financing; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; weather conditions; our ability to utilize our net operating losses to offset future taxable income; the impact of changes in tax laws; the success of our investments in airlines in other parts of the world; 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, 2017, 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, 2018, United Continental Holdings, Inc. ("UAL") adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09 (Topic 606), Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-07, Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost. As such, certain previously reported 2017 figures are adjusted in this report on a basis consistent with the new standards. See the Current Report on Form 8-K filed by UAL with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 1, 2018 for additional information.

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)




Three Months Ended

December 31,


%



Full Year Ended

December 31,


%


(In millions, except per share data)


2018


2017


Increase/
Decrease)



2018


2017


Increase/
Decrease)

Operating revenue:















Passenger


$

9,556



$

8,587



11.3




$

37,706



$

34,460



9.4



Cargo


334



324



3.1




1,237



1,114



11.0



Other operating revenue


601



540



11.3




2,360



2,210



6.8



Total operating revenue


10,491



9,451



11.0




41,303



37,784



9.3


















Operating expense:















Salaries and related costs


2,924



2,678



9.2




11,458



10,941



4.7



Aircraft fuel


2,380



1,875



26.9




9,307



6,913



34.6



Regional capacity purchase


638



580



10.0




2,601



2,232



16.5



Landing fees and other rent


602



570



5.6




2,359



2,240



5.3



Depreciation and amortization


578



539



7.2




2,240



2,149



4.2



Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs


434



479



(9.4)




1,767



1,856



(4.8)



Distribution expenses


396



354



11.9




1,558



1,435



8.6



Aircraft rent


78



145



(46.2)




433



621



(30.3)



Special charges (B)


301



31



NM




487



176



NM



Other operating expenses


1,508



1,424



5.9




5,801



5,550



4.5



Total operating expense


9,839



8,675



13.4




38,011



34,113



11.4


















Operating income


652



776



(16.0)




3,292



3,671



(10.3)


















Operating margin


6.2

%


8.2

%


(2.0)


pts.


8.0

%


9.7

%


(1.7)


pts.

Adjusted operating margin (Non-GAAP) (A)


9.1

%


8.5

%


0.6


pts.


9.1

%


10.2

%


(1.1)


pts.
















Nonoperating income (expense):















Interest expense


(189)



(173)



9.2




(729)



(671)



8.6



Interest capitalized


19



20



(5.0)




70



84



(16.7)



Interest income


31



16



93.8




101



57



77.2



Miscellaneous, net (B)


43



(19)



NM




(76)



(101)



(24.8)



Total nonoperating expense


(96)



(156)



(38.5)




(634)



(631)



0.5


















Income before income taxes


556



620



(10.3)




2,658



3,040



(12.6)


















Pre-tax margin


5.3

%


6.6

%


(1.3)


pts.


6.4

%


8.0

%


(1.6)


pts.

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


7.8

%


6.9

%


0.9


pts.


7.7

%


8.5

%


(0.8)


pts.
















Income tax expense (D)


94



41



129.3




529



896



(41.0)



Net income


$

462



$

579



(20.2)




$

2,129



$

2,144



(0.7)


















Diluted earnings per share


$

1.70



$

1.98



(14.1)




$

7.70



$

7.06



9.1



Diluted weighted average shares


272.7



291.8



(6.5)




276.7



303.6



(8.9)




NM Not meaningful

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

SELECT PASSENGER REVENUE INFORMATION AND STATISTICS


Select passenger revenue information is as follows:




4Q 2018

Passenger

Revenue

(millions)


Passenger

Revenue

vs.

4Q 2017


PRASM

vs.

4Q 2017


Yield

vs.

4Q 2017


Available

Seat Miles

vs.

4Q 2017

Domestic


6,088



12.8%


6.0%


6.7%


6.4%












Atlantic


1,535



9.6%


1.6%


(5.0%)


8.0%

Pacific


1,139



8.8%


4.5%


3.2%


4.0%

Latin America


794



7.2%


3.8%


1.1%


3.1%

International


3,468



8.8%


3.2%


(0.5%)


5.4%












Consolidated


$

9,556



11.3%


5.0%


3.8%


6.0%

Select statistics are as follows:




Three Months Ended

December 31,


%

Increase/

(Decrease)



Full Year Ended

December 31,


%

Increase/

(Decrease)




2018


2017





2018


2017




Passengers (thousands)


39,891



37,413



6.6




158,330



148,067



6.9



Revenue passenger miles (millions)


56,968



53,149



7.2




230,155



216,261



6.4



Available seat miles (millions)


68,902



65,028



6.0




275,262



262,386



4.9



Passenger load factor:















Consolidated


82.7

%


81.7

%


1.0


pt.


83.6

%


82.4

%


1.2


pts.

Domestic


84.6

%


85.2

%


(0.6)


pts.


85.4

%


85.2

%


0.2


pts.

International


80.1

%


77.2

%


2.9


pts.


81.3

%


78.9

%


2.4


pts.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents)


13.87



13.21



5.0




13.70



13.13



4.3



Total revenue per available seat mile (cents)


15.23



14.53



4.8




15.00



14.40



4.2



Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents)


16.77



16.16



3.8




16.38



15.93



2.8



Aircraft in fleet at end of period


1,329



1,262



5.3




1,329



1,262



5.3



Average stage length (miles)


1,426



1,431



(0.3)




1,446



1,460



(1.0)



Average full-time equivalent employees (thousands)


87.3



85.6



2.0




86.6



86.0



0.7



Average aircraft fuel price per gallon


$

2.30



$

1.91



20.4




$

2.25



$

1.74



29.3



Fuel gallons consumed (millions)


1,036



980



5.7




4,137



3,978



4.0




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, 2017, for definitions of these statistics.

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)


(In millions)

December 31, 2018


December 31, 2017

ASSETS




Current assets:




Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,694



$

1,482


Short-term investments

2,256



2,316


Receivables, net

1,346



1,340


Aircraft fuel, spare parts and supplies, net

985



924


Prepaid expenses and other

913



1,071


Total current assets

7,194



7,133






Total operating property and equipment, net

28,329



26,208






Other assets:




Goodwill

4,523



4,523


Intangibles, net

3,159



3,539


Restricted cash

105



91


Loans to others, net

496



46


Investments in affiliates and other, net

966



806


Total other assets

9,249



9,005


Total assets

$

44,772



$

42,346






LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY




Current liabilities:




Advance ticket sales

$

4,381



$

3,940


Accounts payable

2,363



2,196


Frequent flyer deferred revenue

2,286



2,192


Accrued salaries and benefits

2,184



2,166


Current maturities of long-term debt and capital leases

1,379



1,693


Other

600



576


Total current liabilities

13,193



12,763






Other liabilities and deferred credits:




Long-term debt and capital leases

13,349



12,699


Frequent flyer deferred revenue

2,719



2,591


Postretirement benefit liability

1,295



1,602


Pension liability

1,576



1,921


Deferred income taxes

814



204


Other

1,831



1,832


Total other liabilities and deferred credits

21,584



20,849






Commitments and contingencies








Stockholders' equity

9,995



8,734


Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

$

44,772



$

42,346


UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)


(In millions)

Full Year Ended
December 31,


2018


2017

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:




Net cash provided by operating activities

$

6,181



$

3,413






Cash Flows from Investing Activities:




Capital expenditures

(4,177)



(3,998)


Purchases of short-term and other investments

(2,552)



(3,241)


Proceeds from sale of short-term and other investments

2,616



3,177


Loans made to others

(456)




Investment in affiliates

(139)




Other, net

145



132


Net cash used in investing activities

(4,563)



(3,930)






Cash Flows from Financing Activities:




Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt and airport construction financing

1,740



2,765


Repurchases of common stock

(1,235)



(1,844)


Payments of long-term debt

(1,727)



(901)


Principal payments under capital leases

(134)



(124)


Other, net

(54)



(91)


Net cash used in financing activities

(1,410)



(195)


Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

208



(712)


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

1,591



2,303


Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of the year (a)

$

1,799



$

1,591






Investing and Financing Activities Not Affecting Cash:




Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt and capital leases

$

174



$

935


Debt associated with termination of a maintenance service agreement

163




Equity interest in Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. received in consideration for bankruptcy claims



92


Airport construction financing

12



42


Operating lease conversions to capital lease

52





(a) The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash to amounts reported within the consolidated balance sheet:


Reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash:




Current assets:




Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,694



$

1,482


Restricted cash included in Prepaid expenses and other



18


Other assets:




Restricted cash

105



91


Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

$

1,799



$

1,591


UNITED CONTINENTAL 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

December 31, 2018

Net Operating Profit After Tax ("NOPAT")


Pre-tax income

$

2,658


Special charges and MTM losses on financial instruments (B):


Impairment of assets

377


Termination of a maintenance service agreement

64


Severance and benefit costs

41


MTM losses on financial instruments

5


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

5


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

3,150


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

725


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

211


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

(16)


less: Income taxes paid

(19)


NOPAT (Non-GAAP)

$

4,051






Average Invested Capital (five-quarter average)


Total assets

$

44,133


add: Capitalized aircraft operating leases (b)

3,723


less: Non-interest bearing liabilities (c)

(17,224)


Average invested capital (Non-GAAP)

$

30,632




ROIC (Non-GAAP)

13.2

%





(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. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the effective cash tax rate was 0.6%.

(b)

The purpose of this adjustment is to capitalize the impact of aircraft operating leases. The company uses a multiple of seven times its annual aircraft rent expense to estimate the potential capitalized value and related liability of its aircraft. This is a simplified method used by many rating agencies and financial analysts to assess the impact of operating leases on financial measures like return on invested capital.

(c)

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

UNITED CONTINENTAL 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 capital 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

December 31,


%
Increase/


Full Year Ended

December 31,


%
Increase/



2018


2017


(Decrease)


2018


2017


(Decrease)

CASM (cents)













Cost per available seat mile (CASM) (GAAP)


14.28



13.34



7.0



13.81



13.00



6.2


Special charges (B)


0.44



0.04



NM



0.18



0.07



NM


Third-party business expenses


0.04



0.06



(33.3)



0.04



0.05



(20.0)


Fuel expense


3.46



2.88



20.1



3.38



2.64



28.0


Profit sharing, including taxes


0.12



0.07



71.4



0.12



0.13



(7.7)


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


10.22



10.29



(0.7)



10.09



10.11



(0.2)



NM Not Meaningful

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)




Three Months Ended

December 31,


$

Increase/


%

Increase/


Full Year Ended

December 31,


$

Increase/


%

Increase/

(in millions)


2018


2017


(Decrease)


(Decrease)


2018


2017


(Decrease)


(Decrease)

Operating expenses (GAAP)


$

9,839



$

8,675



$

1,164



13.4



$

38,011



$

34,113



$

3,898



11.4


Special charges (B)


301



31



270



NM



487



176



311



NM


Operating expenses, excluding special charges


9,538



8,644



894



10.3



37,524



33,937



3,587



10.6


Adjusted to exclude:

















Third-party business expenses


32



31



1



3.2



121



145



(24)



(16.6)


Fuel expense


2,380



1,875



505



26.9



9,307



6,913



2,394



34.6


Profit sharing, including taxes


82



45



37



82.2



334



349



(15)



(4.3)


Adjusted operating expenses (Non-GAAP)


$

7,044



$

6,693



$

351



5.2



$

27,762



$

26,530



$

1,232



4.6



















Operating income (GAAP)


$

652



$

776



$

(124)



(16.0)



$

3,292



$

3,671



$

(379)



(10.3)


Adjusted to exclude:

















Special charges (B)


301



31



270



NM



487



176



311



NM


Adjusted operating income (Non-GAAP)


$

953



$

807



$

146



18.1



$

3,779



$

3,847



$

(68)



(1.8)



















Pre-tax income (GAAP)


$

556



$

620



$

(64)



(10.3)



$

2,658



$

3,040



$

(382)



(12.6)


Adjusted to exclude:

















Special charges (B)


301



31



270



NM



487



176



311



NM


MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)


(56)





(56)



NM



5





5



NM


Interest expense on ERJ 145 capital leases (C)


13





13



NM



26





26



NM


Adjusted pre-tax income (Non-GAAP)


$

814



$

651



$

163



25.0



$

3,176



$

3,216



$

(40)



(1.2)



















Net income (GAAP)


$

462



$

579



$

(117)



(20.2)



$

2,129



$

2,144



$

(15.0)



(0.7)


Adjusted to exclude:

















Special charges (B)


301



31



270



NM



487



176



311



NM


MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)


(56)





(56)



NM



5





5



NM


Interest expense on ERJ 145 capital leases (C)


13





13



NM



26





26



NM


Income tax benefit related to adjustments above


(58)



(11)



(47)



NM



(116)



(63)



(53)



NM


Special income tax adjustments (D)


(5)



(179)



174



NM



(5)



(179)



174



NM


Adjusted net income (Non-GAAP)


$

657



$

420



$

237



56.4



$

2,526



$

2,078



$

448



21.6



















Diluted earnings per share (GAAP)


$

1.70



$

1.98



$

(0.28)



(14.1)



$

7.70



$

7.06



$

0.64



9.1


Adjusted to exclude:

















Special charges (B)


1.10



0.11



0.99



NM



1.76



0.58



1.18



NM


MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments (B)


(0.21)





(0.21)



NM



0.02





0.02



NM


Interest expense on ERJ 145 capital leases (C)


0.05





0.05



NM



0.09





0.09



NM


Income tax benefit related to adjustments


(0.21)



(0.04)



(0.17)



NM



(0.42)



(0.21)



(0.21)



NM


Special income tax adjustments (D)


(0.02)



(0.61)



0.59



NM



(0.02)



(0.59)



0.57



NM


Adjusted diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)


$

2.41



$

1.44



$

0.97



67.4



$

9.13



$

6.84



$

2.29



33.5



NM Not Meaningful

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)


UAL believes that adjusting capital expenditures for assets acquired through the issuance of debt and capital leases, airport construction financing and excluding fully reimbursable projects is useful to investors in order to appropriately reflect the non-reimbursable funds 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

December 31,


Full Year Ended

December 31,

Capital Expenditures (in millions)


2018


2017


2018


2017

Capital expenditures (GAAP)


$

1,585



$

1,098



$

4,177



$

3,998


Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt and capital leases


35



17



174



935


Airport construction financing




1



12



42


Fully reimbursable projects


(36)



(70)



(176)



(246)


Adjusted capital expenditures (Non-GAAP)


$

1,584



$

1,046



$

4,187



$

4,729











Free Cash Flow (in millions)









Net cash provided by operating activities (GAAP)


$

1,101



$

728



$

6,181



$

3,413


Less capital expenditures


1,585



1,098



4,177



3,998


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


$

(484)



$

(370)



$

2,004



$

(585)











Net cash provided by operating activities (GAAP)


$

1,101



$

728



$

6,181



$

3,413


Less adjusted capital expenditures (Non-GAAP)


1,584



1,046



4,187



4,729


Free cash flow (Non-GAAP)


$

(483)



$

(318)



$

1,994



$

(1,316)


UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.

NOTES (UNAUDITED)


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




Three Months Ended

December 31,


Full Year Ended

December 31,

(In millions)


2018


2017


2018


2017

Operating:









Impairment of assets


$

232



$

10



$

377



$

25


Termination of an engine maintenance service agreement


64





64




Severance and benefit costs


7



15



41



116


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


(2)



6



5



35


Total special charges


301



31



487



176


Nonoperating MTM (gains) losses on financial instruments


(56)





5




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


245



31



492



176


Income tax benefit related to special charges


(68)



(11)



(109)



(63)


Income tax expense (benefit) related to MTM gains and losses on financial instruments


13





(1)




Income tax adjustments (D)


(5)



(179)



(5)



(179)


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


$

185



$

(159)



$

377



$

(66)



Impairment of assets:


Routes: The company conducted its annual impairment review of intangible assets in the fourth quarter of 2018, which consisted of a comparison of the book value of specific assets to the fair value of those assets calculated using the discounted cash flow method. Due to increased costs without sufficient corresponding increases in revenue in the Hong Kong market, the company determined that the value of its Hong Kong routes had been impaired. Accordingly, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the company recorded a special non-cash impairment charge of $206 million ($160 million net of taxes) associated with its Hong Kong routes. The collateral pledged under the company's term loan, including the Hong Kong routes, continues to be sufficient to satisfy the loan covenants.


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, in the second quarter of 2018, the company recorded a $105 million special charge ($82 million net of taxes) to write off the entire value of the intangible asset associated with its Brazil routes. This asset was not part of any collateral pledged against any of the company's borrowings. The company continues to maintain its slot assets related to Brazil since airport access is still regulated by slot allocations that are limited by airport facility constraints.


Other: For the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company also recorded $26 million ($20 million net of taxes) and $66 million ($51 million net of taxes), respectively, of fair value adjustments related to aircraft purchased off lease, write-off of unexercised aircraft purchase options and other impairments related to certain fleet types and international slots no longer in use.


In the fourth quarter of 2017, the company recorded a $10 million ($6 million net of taxes) impairment charge related to obsolete spare parts inventory. During 2017, the company recorded a $15 million ($10 million net of taxes) intangible asset impairment charge related to a maintenance service agreement.


Termination of a maintenance service agreement: In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company recorded a one-time termination charge of $64 million ($50 million net of tax) related to one of its engine maintenance service agreements.


Severance and benefit costs: During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company recorded severance and benefit costs related to a voluntary early-out program for its technicians and related employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters of $3 million ($2 million net of taxes) and $22 million ($17 million net of taxes), respectively. In the first quarter of 2017, approximately 1,000 technicians and related employees elected to voluntarily separate from the company and will receive a severance payment, with a maximum value of $100,000 per participant, based on years of service, with retirement dates through 2018. Also during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company recorded other management severance of $4 million ($3 million net of taxes) and $19 million ($15 million net of taxes), respectively.


During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the company recorded $10 million ($6 million net of taxes) and $83 million ($53 million net of taxes), respectively, of severance and benefit costs related to the voluntary early-out program for its technicians and related employees, and $5 million ($3 million net of taxes) and $33 million ($21 million net of taxes), respectively, of management severance.


MTM gains and losses on financial instruments: During the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, the company recorded gains of $89 million ($69 million net of taxes) and $28 million ($22 million net of taxes), respectively, for the change in market value of certain of its equity investments. During the fourth quarter of 2018, the company recorded losses of $33 million ($26 million net of taxes) 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.



(C) Interest expense related to capital 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 capital leases up until the purchase date. The company recognized $13 million ($10 million net of tax) and $26 million ($20 million net of tax) of additional interest expense in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018, respectively, as a result of this change.


(D) Effective tax rate


The company's effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018 was 16.9% and 19.9%, respectively, and the effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017 was 6.6% and 29.5%, respectively. The effective tax rate represents a blend of federal, state and foreign taxes and included the impact of certain nondeductible items. The effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2018 also reflects the reduced federal corporate income tax rate as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act") in December 2017 and the impact of a change in the company's mix of domestic and foreign earnings. The rates for the 2018 and 2017 periods were impacted by one-time benefits of $5 million and $179 million, respectively, due to the passage of the Tax Act.

SOURCE United Airlines

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

United Airlines' MileagePlus Named Best Overall Airline Loyalty Program for 16th Year

December 12, 2019

CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- For the 16th consecutive year, Global Traveler readers named United Airlines' MileagePlus program the Best Overall Frequent Flyer program in the industry. Global Traveler is a monthly publication with an audience of over half a million business and luxury travelers who vote in the Global Traveler Reader Survey to determine this award. MileagePlus has earned the top spot for loyalty programs since the survey's first year in 2004.

Readers also voted MileagePlus Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program for the seventh consecutive year. The airline's co-brand MileagePlus Club Card from Chase was voted Best Overall Credit Card Program and Best Credit Card Rewards Program for the eighth consecutive year. The United Explorer Card from Chase was named Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemptions in this year's survey.

"MileagePlus earning the Best Overall Frequent Flyer program for the 16th straight year is a sweet achievement for us, most importantly because it is voted on by members and frequent travelers around the world," said Luc Bondar, president of MileagePlus and vice president of loyalty at United. "This year we made a number of improvements to the MileagePlus program, including announcing that miles never expire, and we know these changes continue to make MileagePlus an award-winning program for our members."

This year, United made numerous enhancements to MileagePlus to make it a more rewarding loyalty program for members at each level. The airline announced that MileagePlus miles never expire, began offering discounted or free CLEAR memberships for members and introduced an industry leading way for Premier Platinum members and above to manage upgrades with the introduction of PlusPoints. United and Star Alliance offer members more than 1,300 destinations for award travel, more than any other U.S. airline. MileagePlus members also have more ways to earn and use their miles than any other U.S. airline loyalty program including opportunities to use miles for once in a lifetime experiences through MileagePlus Exclusives and opportunities to redeem as low as 1,000 miles for eGift cards.

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, this year United:

  • Announced that MileagePlus award miles will never expire
  • Gave Economy customers a choice of complimentary snacks on domestic flights
  • Made DIRECTV free for every customer on more than 200 aircraft
  • Released a new version of the award-winning, most downloaded app in the airline industry
  • Launched a new tool called ConnectionSaver, dedicated to improving the experience for customers with connecting flights
  • Partnered with CLEAR on free or discounted memberships for MileagePlus members
  • Announced PlusPoints, new upgrade benefits for MileagePlus Premier members
  • And introduced products in its amenity kits made exclusively for the airline by luxury skincare line Sunday Riley

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 and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 358 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 788 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 560 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26 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".

SOURCE United Airlines

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

United Airlines Announces Leadership Transition

December 05, 2019

CHICAGO, Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) today announced that Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, will transition to the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of United Airlines Holdings, Inc. in May 2020. As CEO, Munoz has transformed United's culture and set new standards of operational and financial performance. J. Scott Kirby, President, will succeed Munoz as Chief Executive Officer.

"With United in a stronger position than ever, now is the right time to begin the process of passing the baton to a new leader," Munoz said. "One of my goals as CEO was to put in place a successful leadership transition for United Airlines. I brought Scott to United three years ago, and I am confident that there is no one in the world better equipped to lead United to even greater heights. It has been the honor of my career to lead the 95,000 dedicated professionals who serve United's customers every day. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Scott in the months ahead and supporting the company's ongoing success in my new role."

Kirby was recruited to United Airlines by Munoz in August 2016, after a three-decade career in the commercial airline business. His appointment reflects a commitment from Munoz and the Board to preserve leadership continuity and demonstrates confidence in the airline's strategy and current trajectory.

"When I joined United as CEO, I laid out ambitious goals to build a new spirit of United by regaining the trust of our employees and customers – and I'm proud of how far we've come," Munoz said. "Along with the successful implementation of the plan our team laid out in January 2018, United's operational and financial performance isn't just better – it's better than ever. By instilling a culture of 'proof not promise,' we have transformed United even faster than we expected and there's an incredible sense of excitement about the future."

Kirby, a highly-regarded industry leader, has played a pivotal role in enabling United's cultural transformation and successfully executing the company's strategic growth plan.

"I am honored to be named the next CEO of United and to succeed Oscar, whose leadership has been truly transformational for United Airlines," Kirby said. "I look forward to working with Oscar, the Board, our established leadership team and every United employee as we drive forward our proven strategy and focus on being the airline customers choose to fly and return to time and again."

Munoz will serve as Executive Chairman for a one-year term and will continue to work closely with Kirby, the Board and the United team in shaping United's employee and customer-centric culture. He will also lead the company's Board and continue to engage on behalf of United with a range of external stakeholders.

As part of this transition, United's current Chairman, Jane Garvey, will retire from the Board in May 2020 after more than a decade of exceptional service, including serving as Chairman since May 2018. At the request of the Board, Garvey agreed to remain in her role for a year beyond the Board's mandatory retirement age.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, I cannot thank Oscar enough for his outstanding leadership and commitment to United, and we are pleased that we will continue to benefit from his expertise and experience in his role as Executive Chairman," Garvey said. "Oscar became CEO at one of the most challenging points in United's history, and his focus on putting customers and employees first has transformed United's culture today and successfully positioned the company for tomorrow. One of Oscar's greatest legacies is the best-in-class leadership team he has built, and we have full confidence that Scott is the ideal candidate to lead United into the bright future that lies ahead."

The company also announced that Ted Philip will become Lead Independent Director following the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Philip joined the Board in July 2016 and chairs the Nominating/Governance Committee. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Hasbro, Inc. and BRP Inc.

"I could not be more excited about the opportunity that we have at United over the next several years to fulfill this airline's incredible potential," Philip said. "I am proud to work alongside Oscar in guiding United's Board and leadership team, and I am eager to get to work on delivering for all of our stakeholders. The entire Board and I want to thank Jane for her many contributions to United over the last decade, including her highly successful tenure as Chairman."

All of the changes announced today will take effect following the company's Annual Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled for May 20, 2020.

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 news, United recently announced that MileagePlus miles will now never expire, giving members a lifetime to use miles on flights and experiences. Customers now have more free on board snack options as well, with a choice of Lotus Biscoff cookies, pretzels and the Stroopwafel. The airline also recently released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry, introduced ConnectionSaver – a tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers connecting from one United flight to the next – and launched PlusPoints, a new upgrade benefit for MileagePlus premier members.

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 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 partners operate 561 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 27 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, our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, 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.

SOURCE United Airlines

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

United Airlines Sets a Course for the Future With Order of 50 Airbus A321XLR Aircraft

December 03, 2019

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced an order to purchase 50 new Airbus A321XLR aircraft, enabling the carrier to begin replacing and retiring its existing fleet of Boeing 757-200 aircraft and further meet the airline's operational needs by pairing the optimal aircraft with select transatlantic routes. The state-of-the-art aircraft, which United expects to introduce into international service in 2024, will also allow United to explore serving additional destinations in Europe from its East Coast hubs in Newark/New York and Washington.

"The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network," said Andrew Nocella, United's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR's range capabilities open potential new destinations to further develop our route network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe."

The next-generation A321XLR offers customers an elevated inflight experience and features modern amenities including LED lighting, larger overhead bin space and Wi-Fi connectivity. Additionally, the new aircraft lowers overall fuel burn per seat by about 30% when compared to previous generation aircraft, enabling United to further minimize its environmental impact as the carrier moves towards its ambitious goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50% relative to 2005 levels by 2050.

United plans to begin taking delivery of the Airbus A321XLR in 2024. Additionally, the airline will defer the delivery of its order of Airbus A350s until 2027 to better align with the carrier's operational needs.

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, this year United:

  • Announced that MileagePlus award miles will never expire
  • Gave economy customers a choice of complimentary snacks on domestic flights
  • Made DIRECTV free for every customer on more than 200 aircraft
  • Released a new version of the award-winning, most downloaded app in the airline industry
  • Launched a new tool called ConnectionSaver, dedicated to improving the experience for customers with connecting flights
  • Partnered with CLEAR on free or discounted memberships for MileagePlus members
  • Announced PlusPoints, new upgrade benefits for MileagePlus Premier members
  • And introduced products in its amenity kits made exclusively for the airline by luxury skincare line Sunday Riley

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 and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 358 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 788 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 560 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 27 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".

SOURCE United Airlines

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

United Airlines Pledges Millions of Miles to Non-Profits on Giving Tuesday

December 03, 2019

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines continues its successful Miles on a Mission campaign this Giving Tuesday by pledging to match customer donations up to a total of 10 million MileagePlus® miles to featured Miles on a Mission partners. The campaign is a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform that gives customers a simple, and easy way to donate miles to non-profit organizations and charities in need of air travel. Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of The Points Guy, will kick off a holiday donation drive today in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport by meeting and encouraging MileagePlus members to donate miles to the effort.

The inaugural round of Miles on a Mission assisted 12 charity campaigns, which raised more than 11 million MileagePlus miles in just 28 days. MileagePlus members can now visit united.com/donate to make contributions to non-profit organizations in need of air travel.

"As our customers begin to think about ways to give back this holiday season, we are proud to offer more options to use miles in support of causes and charities that are meaningful to our customers," said Sharon Grant, vice president and chief community engagement officer at United Airlines. "We know many of our customers are looking to make a difference and we want to give them opportunities to make the giving of their miles go even further. Donating miles is a powerful way to contribute to an organization."

The following non-profit organizations are participating in the Giving Tuesday campaign:

  • A Walk on Water
    • Surf Therapy organization serving families of children with unique needs by offering transformative experiences at the beach.
  • Compass to Care
    • Chicago-based organization that assists children suffering from cancer with travel to receive life-saving cancer treatment. Thirty percent of children diagnosed with cancer do not have treatment options within 60 miles of their homes.
  • The Extra Mile
    • Chicago-based organization that gives flights to those in need of visiting terminally ill loved ones, who cannot otherwise afford the trip to say their final goodbyes.
  • I AM ALS
    • I AM ALS is uniting patients, advocates, and the scientific community to reshape public understanding of ALS, provide key resources to the community to fight ALS, and empower them to lead the search for treatments and cures for this currently terminal disease.
  • PeaceJam
    • A global peace organization teaching young people the skills they need to tackle today's most pressing issues. Your miles will support youth to work directly with PeaceJam's 14 Nobel Peace Laureates at summits around world.
  • Rainbow Railroad
    • Organization that helps those who identify as LGBTQI seek asylum from their countries of origin. They will use the miles they raise to book flights for individuals they are helping to travel to safety.
  • The Station Foundation
    • Organization committed to protecting and empowering U.S. Special Operations veterans returning from combat, their spouses, families and Gold Star children.
  • Up2Us Sports
    • Organization that works to engage, train and support sports coaches to serve as mentors and role models to youth in underserved communities all across America.

Eligible charities can apply for the opportunity to launch a 28-day rotation to raise miles for their organization through MileagePlus member donations. Approved charities will work with United to reach goals of raising between 250,000 and 5 million miles. Organizations looking to launch a campaign can visit the Miles on a Mission website for full application details. 

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, this year United:

  • Announced that MileagePlus award miles will never expire
  • Gave Economy customers a choice of complimentary snacks on domestic flights
  • Made DIRECTV free for every customer on more than 200 aircraft
  • Released a new version of the award-winning, most downloaded app in the airline industry
  • Launched a new tool called ConnectionSaver, dedicated to improving the experience for customers with connecting flights
  • Partnered with CLEAR on free or discounted memberships for MileagePlus members
  • Announced PlusPoints, new upgrade benefits for MileagePlus Premier members
  • And introduced products in its amenity kits made exclusively for the airline by luxury skincare line Sunday Riley

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 and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 358 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 788 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 560 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26-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".

 

SOURCE United Airlines

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