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United Airlines Makes History Flying the Most Eco-Friendly Commercial Flight of its Kind

Historic "Flight for the Planet" combines the use of biofuel, zero-waste measures and carbon offsets to significantly minimize impact on the environment
June 05, 2019

CHICAGO, June 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines, a longstanding leader among all global carriers in environmental sustainability, made history today – World Environment Day – with the departure of the Flight for the Planet, the most eco-friendly commercial flight of its kind in the history of aviation. On the Flight for the Planet, United became 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.

United is using the Flight for the Planet to evaluate key measures of flying as sustainably as possible using the airline's current technology, resources and fuel-saving procedures. The flight departed from gate B12 at United's hometown hub of Chicago O'Hare for its "eco-hub" in Los Angeles, where sustainable aviation biofuel has helped power all the airline's flights from the Southern California hub since 2016.

"The historic Flight for the Planet showcases United's philosophy of working together to find new and innovative ways to lead us into a more sustainable future," said Scott Kirby, United's president. "As an airline, we see our environment from a unique perspective every day and we know we must do our part to protect our planet and our skies."

The Flight for the Planet further illustrates United's commitment to its bold pledge to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2050.

Sustainable Aviation Biofuel

United is powering the Flight for the Planet using a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, sustainable aviation fuel provided by Boston-based World Energy, and traditional jet fuel. The biofuel alone achieves a greater than 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to traditional jet fuel, and using biofuel is one of the most effective ways an airline can reduce its impact on the environment.

United recently renewed its contract with World Energy, agreeing to purchase up to 10 million gallons of cost-competitive, sustainable aviation biofuel over the next two years. United was the first airline globally to use sustainable aviation biofuel on a continuous basis and the only airline in the United States to currently do so.

Zero Cabin Waste and Industry-First, Recyclable-Paper Cup

In the Economy cabin, United is swapping traditional snack options with a complimentary plated service featuring fully recyclable or compostable serviceware, including a test of an industry-first, recyclable-paper, hot beverage cup.

In the premium cabin, United is continuing to use reusable service ware and swap plastic lids for beeswax food wrappers. The airline is also removing the paper wrapping from silverware roll-ups. United has already eliminated non-recyclable stirring sticks and cocktail picks on aircraft systemwide and replaced them with an environmentally-friendly product made of 100% bamboo.

Carbon Offsetting

United is offsetting the remainder of the flight's emissions via the airline's new carbon offset provider, Conservation International. Conservation International now partners with United on the airline's consumer carbon offset program – Eco-Skies CarbonChoice – and together the two allies will focus on CI's mission to promote nature-based solutions to climate change.

Operational Efficiencies

United has made significant investments in a modern, fuel-efficient fleet while implementing operational and procedural changes to drive fuel conservation. The Flight for the Planet is demonstrating single-engine taxiing, Air Traffic Control prioritization and a continuous descent approach into Los Angeles, which saves fuel while also reducing noise impact to the city. United is operating the flight using its Eco-Skies livery Boeing 737-900ER, which on average carries passengers 77 miles on a single gallon of fuel.

Additionally, 40% of United's eligible ground service equipment (GSE) is electric-powered, with more than 70% of the airline's ground operation at its Los Angeles eco-hub utilizing electric GSE equipment. United is the first airline to use new ITW 7400 electric ground power units that drastically reduce workplace noise pollution and cut carbon emissions by 90%. United is also using electric-powered ground equipment to service the Flight for the Planet at the departure and arrival gates.

United's Commitment to the Environment

United's Flight for the Planet represents yet another innovative initiative the airline has undertaken to reduce its overall footprint and further ensure its reputation as the world's most environmentally conscious airlines. Several of United's most significant environmental achievements include:

  • Becoming the first airline globally to use sustainable aviation biofuel on a continuous basis, marking a significant milestone in the industry by moving beyond test programs and demonstrations to the everyday use of low-carbon fuel in ongoing operations.
  • Investing more than $30 million in California-based sustainable aviation fuels producer Fulcrum BioEnergy, which remains the single largest investment by any airline globally in sustainable fuels. United's agreement to purchase nearly 1 billion gallons from Fulcrum BioEnergy is the largest offtake agreement for biofuel in the airline industry.
  • Becoming the first airline to fly with Boeing's Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by an additional 2 percent versus standard winglets; United is the largest Scimitar winglet operator today, with nearly 400 aircraft equipped with these winglets.
  • Becoming the first U.S. airline to repurpose items from the carrier's international premium cabin amenity kits and partnering with Clean the World to donate hygiene products to those in critical need.
  • Partnering with Audubon International to protect raptors – including hawks, owls and kestrels – in and around United's hubs and resettle the birds of prey at habitats where the species are more likely to thrive.

For more information on United's commitment to environmental sustainability, visit united.com/ecoskies.

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 355 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 779 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express carriers operate 569 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 Continental 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 Makes Hawaii Travel Easier with Expanded COVID Testing and Pre-Clearance Program

Customers traveling to the islands can save time by showing proof of negative tests at United's hub airports and skip document screening process in Hawaii
January 27, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning February 1, United customers traveling to Hawaii who have a valid negative COVID-19 test can show their results before boarding to save time and skip document screening lines upon arrival. The new pre-clearance process will be in place for customers traveling on 110 of United's weekly flights to Hawaii.

United is also making it easier to get the right tests to avoid Hawaii's 14-day quarantine by making approved COVID-19 tests available to all customers traveling to the islands no matter where in the U.S. their travel begins.

"We're making it easier for customers traveling to Hawaii to spend more time enjoying their trip and less time waiting in lines," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United. "Testing is the key to opening domestic and international travel so we'll continue to lead the way in rolling out solutions that are simple and safe so our customers have what they need when they take their next trip with us."

To begin the pre-clearance program, customers will enroll in Hawaii's Safe Travels program and complete Hawaii's COVID-19 questionnaire within 24 hours from departure. Next, customers will use the Safe Travels website to upload their negative test results from one of Hawaii's trusted testing partners which must be taken within 72 hours of their departure. At the airport, customers will see a United team member at the gate for their flight to Hawaii where they will receive a wristband if they qualify to bypass airport screening in Hawaii. Customers who have been pre-cleared will be able to skip test screenings in Hawaii and begin their trip as soon as they land.

For images of United's pre-clearance program click here.

United is also making it easier for customers to obtain approved COVID-19 test options with the expansion of mail-in tests to customers no matter where in the U.S. their travel originates. The airline will notify customers in advance of their Hawaii trip to let them know what testing options they have locally. Last year, United also teamed up with XpresCheck to open additional same-day testing facilities for United customers in select airports. XpresCheck currently has locations open in United's Denver terminal, and expects to open additional locations in United's terminals in Houston and Newark in the coming weeks. Customers who choose to take a test with XpresCheck can schedule an appointment online for a rapid molecular test on the same day as their travel. Walk up appointments are also available on a first come, first served basis.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, United made numerous enhancements to its business that improve the travel experience and make the airline a better company. Earlier this week, United announced a new Travel-Ready Center in the United app and online where customers can review COVID-19 travel requirements, find local testing options and upload any testing and vaccination records that their destinations requires. This year, United also began allowing all customers to fly standby on another flight to the same destination on the same day for free, and all MileagePlus® Premier® members now confirm a new flight on the same day to the same destinations at check-in when space is available in the same fare class. Last year, the carrier eliminated most change fees, pledged to reduce its greenhouse gases 100% by 2050, and as a part of its United CleanPlus℠ program, teamed up with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to guide its cleaning and safety protocols. Last spring, United extended MileagePlus Premier status to all customers through January 2022 and made earning status for the next two years easier for all MileagePlus members.

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, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Launches Industry-Exclusive Technology to Ease the Burden of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

United's "Travel-Ready Center" will allow customers to upload and validate test results, review local entry requirements, find testing providers, and store vaccination records - all in the United app and United.com
January 25, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launched the "Travel-Ready Center" - a new, digital solution where customers can review COVID-19 entry requirements, find local testing options and upload any required testing and vaccination records for domestic and international travel, all in one place. United is the first airline to integrate all these features into its mobile app and website.

"While pre-travel testing and documentation are key to safely reopening global travel, we know it can be confusing for customers when they're preparing for a flight," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, United. "Starting today, our 'Travel-Ready Center' gives customers a personalized, step-by-step guide of what is needed for their trip, a simple way to upload required documents and quickly get their boarding pass, fully integrated within our app and website."


United Announces 2020 Financial Results: 2021 Will Focus On Transition To Recovery; Expects To Exceed 2019 Adjusted EBITDA Margin By 2023*

Company continues to improve core cash burn in the face of continued COVID-19 headwinds; sharpens focus to prepare for recovery
January 20, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company continues its efforts to lead the industry as it manages the most disruptive crisis in aviation history.

Doreen Burse Named Worldwide Sales SVP

January 19, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that the carrier has named Doreen Burse senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. Burse brings to the company more than 30 years of sales expertise from the hospitality industry.

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.

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.

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.

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