United 2016 full year and fourth quarter performance - United Hub

United Airlines Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2016 Performance

January 17, 2017

  

CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 financial results. 

  • Achieved best full-year on-time performance while reporting the lowest number of cancellations, delay minutes and mishandled bags in company history.
  • UAL reported full-year net income of $2.3 billion, diluted earnings per share of $6.85, pre-tax earnings of $3.8 billion and pre-tax margin of 10.4 percent. Excluding special items, UAL reported full-year net income of $2.9 billion, diluted earnings per share of $8.65, pre-tax earnings of $4.5 billion and pre-tax margin of 12.2 percent.
  • UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $397 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.26, pre-tax earnings of $884 million and pre-tax margin of 9.8 percent. Excluding special items, UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $562 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.78, pre-tax earnings of $857 million and pre-tax margin of 9.5 percent.
  • Technicians and related employees ratified a joint contract in the fourth quarter. UAL has completed new agreements with every domestic unionized work group in 2016.
  • Employees earned $628 million in profit sharing for 2016.

"Our fourth quarter financial and operating performance capped an outstanding year for United Airlines," said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. "In 2016, we put into action our plan to become the best airline in the world, and last year's results demonstrate we are on our way to achieving that ambition. We will continue delivering on this commitment by investing in our employees, elevating our customer experience and driving strong and consistent returns for our shareholders." 

Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter Revenue

For the fourth quarter of 2016, total revenue was $9.1 billion, an increase of 0.2 percent year-over-year. Fourth-quarter 2016 consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) decreased 1.6 percent and consolidated yield decreased 1.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. This outperformance versus the company's initial guidance was due to stronger close-in bookings and yields in November and December. For the full-year 2016, consolidated PRASM declined 5.4 percent compared to the prior year driven by factors including a strong U.S. dollar, lower surcharges, reductions from energy-related corporate travel, and declining yields.

"We saw meaningful improvement in the pricing and demand environment in the quarter," said Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines. "Looking forward, we anticipate first-quarter consolidated unit revenues to be approximately flat, marking the fourth straight quarter of sequential quarter-over-quarter improvement."

Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter Costs

Total operating expense was $8.0 billion in the fourth quarter, up 1.2 percent year-over-year. Excluding special charges, total operating expense was $8.1 billion, a 3.2 percent increase year-over-year. Consolidated unit cost (CASM) decreased 0.8 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due mainly to lower fuel expense. Fourth-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 4.1 percent year-over-year driven largely by the impact of labor agreements ratified in 2016. For the full year, consolidated CASM decreased 2.9 percent compared to full-year 2015 due to lower fuel expense. Excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, consolidated CASM increased 2.8 percent compared to the prior year due primarily to new labor agreements.

"I am very pleased with core cost performance achieved in the fourth quarter and full-year 2016 where we kept non-fuel cost growth excluding new labor deals nearly constant," said Andrew Levy, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Airlines. "I have great confidence we will achieve our cost efficiency targets outlined at our investor day as we look to offset rising fuel and labor costs."

Liquidity and Capital Allocation

In the fourth quarter, UAL generated $658 million in operating cash flow and ended the quarter with $5.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. UAL generated $5.5 billion in operating cash flow for the full year. The company continued to invest in its business through capital expenditures of $880 million in the fourth quarter and a total of $3.2 billion for the full year. Including assets acquired through the issuance of debt and airport construction financing and excluding fully reimbursable projects, the company invested $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter and $3.3 billion for the full year in adjusted capital expenditures. Free cash flow, measured as operating cash flow less adjusted capital expenditures, was $2.2 billion for the full year.

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2016, the company's return on invested capital was 19.3 percent. In the quarter, UAL purchased $156 million of its common shares. For full-year 2016, the company purchased $2.6 billion of its common shares, representing approximately 14 percent of shares outstanding, at an average price of $51.80 per share. As of Dec. 31, 2016, the company had $1.8 billion remaining to purchase shares under its existing share repurchase authority.

For more information on UAL's first-quarter 2017 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company's investor update.

Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter Highlights
Operations and Employees

  • In the fourth quarter, United technicians and related employees voted to ratify a new joint collective bargaining agreement. During 2016, the company reached new agreements with every domestic unionized work group.
  • Achieved best full-year on-time performance while reporting the lowest number of cancellations, delay minutes and mishandled bags in company history.
  • In December, United earned its sixth consecutive perfect 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and a spot on the organization's list of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality."
  • Employees earned cash-incentive payments of approximately $30 million for achieving operational performance goals in the quarter, marking a full year of bonus payouts for a total of approximately $120 million.
  • Further enabled employees to provide a better experience to customers by equipping them with the technology and information they need, including more than 50,000 mobile devices in the operation.

Network and Fleet

  • In the fourth quarter, launched service to Havana, Cuba from its Newark and Houston hubs. During 2016, the company also introduced new routes between San Francisco and five international destinations including Tel Aviv; Xi'an, China; Singapore; Auckland, New Zealand; and Hangzhou, China.
  • In the fourth quarter, took delivery of the first Boeing 777-300ER in the company's fleet, named the "New Spirit of United," featuring the all-new United Polaris business class seat.
  • During the quarter, announced a modification to its narrowbody order book by converting its original order for 65 Boeing 737-700 aircraft into four 737-800 aircraft to be delivered in 2017 and 61 737 MAX aircraft with delivery dates to be determined.
  • During the year, took delivery of 22 new Boeing aircraft, including 737NGs, 787s and 777s, as well as six used Airbus A319 aircraft.

Customer Experience

  • Launched a reimagined international travel experience, United Polaris service, in December and opened the first premier United Polaris lounge in Chicago.
  • Opened automated screening lanes to increase efficiency and improve the screening experience for its customers at hubs in Chicago, Los Angeles and Newark during the fourth quarter.
  • During the year, redesigned and upgraded seven United Clubs across the system.
  • In 2016, re-introduced free snacks and began offering illy® premium coffee on board and in United Clubs.
  • For 2016, MileagePlus® loyalty program named best overall frequent flyer program in the world for thirteenth consecutive year by Global Traveler.
  • Flew 1,500 athletes, coaches and Team USA staff to the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games over the summer as the company celebrated more than 35 years partnering with Team USA.
  • Expanded capabilities of United's award-winning mobile app, used on more than 28 million devices – enhancing the customer experience with new re-booking options and features to improve management of international travel documents.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2016, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 143 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 737 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 483 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 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 NYSE 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," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" 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 comply with the terms of our various financing arrangements; the costs and availability of financing; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; 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, revenue-generating initiatives, cost reduction initiatives and fleet replacement programs; our ability to utilize our net operating losses; our ability to attract and retain customers; demand for transportation in the markets in which we operate; an outbreak of a disease that affects travel demand or travel behavior; demand for travel and the impact that global economic conditions have on customer travel patterns; excessive taxation and the inability to offset future taxable income; 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; any potential realized or unrealized gains or losses related to fuel or currency hedging programs; the effects of any hostilities, act of war or terrorist attack; 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; disruptions to our regional network; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; our capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of our competitors; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including Open Skies agreements and environmental regulations); the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; the impact of any management changes; 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; weather conditions; and other risks and uncertainties set forth under Part I, Item 1A., "Risk Factors," of UAL's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, 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-

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)
(In millions, except per share data)

(In millions, except per share data) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Operating revenue:
Passenger:
Mainline
$6,295 $6,180 1.9 $25,414 $26,333 (3.5)
Operating revenue: Passenger: Regional 1,466 1,549 (5.4) 6,043 6,452 (6.3)
Operating revenue: Passenger: Total passenger revenue (B) 7,761 7,729 0.4 31,457 32,785 (4.1)
Operating revenue: Cargo 250 231 8.2 876 937 (6.5)
Operating revenue: Other operating revenue 1,041 1,076 (3.3) 4,223 4,142 2.0
Operating revenue: Total operating revenue 9,052 9,036 0.2 36,556 37,864 (3.5)
Operating expense:
Salaries and related costs
2,568 2,424 5.9 10,275 9,713 5.8
Operating expense: Aircraft fuel (C) 1,555 1,618 (3.9) 5,813 7,522 (22.7)
Operating expense: Landing fees and other rent 553 556 (0.5) 2,165 2,203 (1.7)
Operating expense: Regional capacity purchase 552 565 (2.3) 2,197 2,290 (4.1)
Operating expense: Depreciation and amortization 504 476 5.9 1,977 1,819 8.7
Operating expense: Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs 448 399 12.3 1,749 1,651 5.9
Operating expense: Distribution expenses 316 316 1,303 1,342 (2.9)
Operating expense: Aircraft rent 159 174 (8.6) 680 754 (9.8)
Operating expense: Special charges (D) (31) 131 NM1 638 326 NM1
Operating expense: Other operating expenses 1,423 1,296 9.8 5,421 5,078 6.8
Operating expense: Other Operating Expenses: Total operating expenses 8,047 7,955 1.2 32,218 32,698 (1.5)
Operating income: Operating income 1,005 1,081 (7.0) 4,338 5,166 (16.0)
Operating margin 11.1% 12.0% (0.9) pts. 11.9% 13.6% (1.7) pts.
Operating margin, excluding special charges (A) (Non-GAAP) 10.8% 13.4% (2.6) pts. 13.6% 14.5% (0.9) pts.
Nonoperating income (expense):
Interest expense
(148) (165) (10.3) (614) (669) (8.2)
Nonoperating income (expense): Interest capitalized 24 11 118.2 72 49 46.9
Nonoperating income (expense): Interest income 11 9 22.2 42 25 68.0
Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net (D) (8) (31) (74.2) (19) (352) (94.6)
Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net (D): Total nonoperating expense (121) (176) (31.3) (519) (947) (45.2)
Income before income taxes: Income before income taxes 884 905 (2.3) 3,819 4,219 (9.5)
Pre-tax margin 9.8% 10.0% (0.2) pts. 10.4% 11.1% (0.7) pts.
Pre-tax margin, excluding special items (A) (Non-GAAP) 9.5% 10.4% (0.9) pts. 12.2% 11.9% 0.3 pts.
Income tax expense (benefit) (E) 487 82 493.9 1,556 (3,121) NM1
Net income $397 $823 (51.8) $2,263 $7,340 (69.2)
Earnings per share, diluted $1.26 $2.24 (43.8) $6.85 $19.47 (64.8)
Weighted average shares, diluted 316 367 (13.9) 330 377 (12.5)
  1. NM means Not Meaningful

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
STATISTICS
  Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Mainline:
Passengers (thousands)
25,590 24,169 5.9 101,007 96,327 4.9
Mainline:Revenue passenger miles (millions) 45,608 44,470 2.6 186,181 183,642 1.4
Mainline:Available seat miles (millions) 55,440 53,814 3.0 224,692 219,989 2.1
Mainline:Cargo ton miles (millions) 790 679 16.3 2,805 2,614 7.3
Mainline:Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents) 11.35 11.48 (1.1) 11.31 11.97 (5.5)
Mainline:Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents) 13.80 13.90 (0.7) 13.65 14.34 (4.8)
Mainline:Aircraft in fleet at end of period 737 715 3.1 737 715 3.1
Mainline:Average stage length (miles) 1,804 1,869 (3.5) 1,859 1,922 (3.3)
Mainline:Average daily utilization of each aircraft (hours) 9:54 9:59 (0.8) 10:06 10:24 (2.9)
Regional:
Passengers (thousands)
10,433 10,983 (5.0) 42,170 44,042 (4.3)
Regional:Revenue passenger miles (millions) 5,930 6,248 (5.1) 24,128 24,969 (3.4)
Regional:Available seat miles (millions) 7,078 7,490 (5.5) 28,898 30,014 (3.7)
Regional:Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents) 20.71 20.68 0.1 20.91 21.50 (2.7)
Regional:Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents) 24.72 24.79 (0.3) 25.05 25.84 (3.1)
Regional:Aircraft in fleet at end of period 494 521 (5.2) 494 521 (5.2)
Regional:Average stage length (miles) 560 562 (0.4) 564 559 0.9
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):
Passengers (thousands)
36,023 35,152 2.5 143,177 140,369 2.0
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Revenue passenger miles (millions) 51,538 50,718 1.6 210,309 208,611 0.8
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Available seat miles (millions) 62,518 61,304 2.0 253,590 250,003 1.4
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Passenger load factor:
Consolidated
82.4% 82.7% (0.3) pts. 82.9% 83.4% (0.5) pts.
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Domestic 85.2% 85.7% (0.5) pts. 85.4% 85.7% (0.3) pts.
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):International 78.9% 79.0% (0.1) pts. 80.0% 80.7% (0.7) pts.
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents) 12.41 12.61 (1.6) 12.40 13.11 (5.4)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Total revenue per available seat mile (cents) 14.48 14.74 (1.8) 14.42 15.15 (4.8)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents) 15.06 15.24 (1.2) 14.96 15.72 (4.8)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Aircraft in fleet at end of period 1,231 1,236 (0.4) 1,231 1,236 (0.4)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average stage length (miles) 1,441 1,456 (1.0) 1,473 1,487 (0.9)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average full-time equivalent employees (thousands) 84.8 82.1 3.3 83.9 82.1 2.2
  • Note: See Part II, Item 6 Selected Financial Data of the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 for the definition of these statistics.

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
SUMMARY FINANCIAL METRICS

Note (A) provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial metrics to the comparable GAAP financial metrics and provides the reasons UAL management believes these financial metrics are useful.
(In millions, except per share data)

  Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Operating income (GAAP) $1,005 $1,081 (7.0) $4,338 $5,166 (16.0)
Operating margin (GAAP) 11.1% 12.0% (0.9) pts. 11.9% 13.6% (1.7) pts.
Operating income, excluding Special charges (Non-GAAP) 974 1,212 (19.6) 4,976 5,492 (9.4)
Operating margin, excluding Special charges (Non-GAAP) 10.8% 13.4% (2.6) pts. 13.6% 14.5% (0.9) pts.
Adjusted EBITDA, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) $1,474 $1,560 (5.5) $6,939 $6,912 0.4
Adjusted EBITDA margin, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 16.3% 17.3% (1.0) pts. 19.0% 18.3% 0.7 pts.
Adjusted EBITDAR, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 1,633 1,734 (5.8) 7,619 7,666 (0.6)
Adjusted EBITDAR margin, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 18.0% 19.2% (1.2) pts. 20.8% 20.2% 0.6 pts.
Pre-tax income (GAAP) $884 $905 (2.3) $3,819 $4,219 (9.5)
Pre-tax margin (GAAP) 9.8% 10.0% (0.2) pts. 10.4% 11.1% (0.7) pts.
Pre-tax income, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 857 939 (8.7) 4,462 4,498 (0.8)
Pre-tax margin, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 9.5% 10.4% (0.9) pts. 12.2% 11.9% 0.3 pts.
Net income (GAAP) $397 $823 (51.8) $2,263 $7,340 (69.2)
Net income, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 562 934 (39.8) 2,857 4,478 (36.2)
Tax adjusted net income, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 562 602 (6.6) 2,857 2,883 (0.9)
Diluted earnings per share (GAAP) $1.26 $2.24 (43.8) $6.85 $19.47 (64.8)
Diluted earnings per share, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 1.78 2.54 (29.9) 8.65 11.88 (27.2)
Tax adjusted diluted earnings per share, excluding special items (Non-GAAP) 1.78 1.64 8.5 8.65 7.65 13.1
Net cash provided by operating activities $658 $1,115 (41.0) $5,542 $5,992 (7.5)
Capital expenditures $880 $763 15.3 $3,223 $2,747 17.3
Adjusted capital expenditures 1,078 791 36.3 3,347 3,506 (4.5)
Free cash flow, net of financings (Non-GAAP) $(222) $352 NM $2,319 $3,245 (28.5)
Free cash flow (Non-GAAP) (420) 324 NM 2,195 2,486 (11.7)

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL (ROIC)

ROIC is a Non-GAAP financial measure that we believe provides useful supplemental information for management and investors by measuring the effectiveness of our operations' use of invested capital to generate profits.
  Twelve Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT)
Pre-tax income excluding special items 2
$4,462
Pre-tax income excluding special items: NOPAT adjustments 3 998
NOPAT $5,460
Effective cash tax rate 4 0.3%
Invested Capital (five-quarter average)
Total assets
$40,435
Total assets: Invested capital adjustments 5 12,182
Average Invested Capital $28,253
Return on Invested Capital 19.3%
  1. Non-GAAP Financial Reconciliation
  2. NOPAT adjustments include: adding back (net of tax shield) interest expense, the interest component of capitalized aircraft rent and net interest on pension.
  3. Effective cash tax rate is calculated by dividing cash taxes paid by adjusted pre-tax income.
  4. Invested capital adjustments include: adding back capital aircraft rent (at 7.0X) and deferred income taxes, less advance ticket sales, frequent flyer deferred revenue, tax valuation allowance and other non-interest bearing liabilities.
Notes: Twelve Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Pre-tax income $3,819
Pre-tax income: Add: Special items 643
Pre-tax income excluding special items $4,462

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)

(A) Pursuant to SEC Regulation G, UAL has included the following reconciliations of reported Non-GAAP financial measures to comparable financial measures reported on a GAAP basis.

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 non-recurring charges 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, fuel sales and non-air mileage redemptions, 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 recurring cost performance and provides a more meaningful comparison of our core operating costs to the airline industry. In addition, the company believes that adjusting for MTM gains and losses from fuel derivative contracts settling in future periods and prior period gains and losses on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period is useful because the adjustments allow investors to better understand the cash impact of settled fuel derivative contracts in a given period.
  Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016 in cents
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015 in cents
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016 in cents
Year Ended
December 31, 2015 in cents
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents)
Cost per available seat mile (CASM)
12.43 12.37 0.5 12.22 12.42 (1.6)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM):Less: Special charges (D) (0.06) 0.24 NM1 0.29 0.15 NM1
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM): Less: Third-party business expenses 0.13 0.16 (18.8) 0.11 0.13 (15.4)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM): Less: Fuel expense 2.33 2.53 (7.9) 2.16 2.87 (24.7)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuel 10.03 9.44 6.3 9.66 9.27 4.2
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuel: Less: Profit sharing per available seat mile 0.22 0.28 (21.4) 0.28 0.32 (12.5)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing 9.81 9.16 7.1 9.38 8.95 4.8
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents)
Cost per available seat mile (CASM)
12.87 12.98 (0.8) 12.70 13.08 (2.9)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM):Less: Special charges (D) (0.05) 0.22 NM1 0.25 0.13 NM1
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM): Less: Third-party business expenses 0.11 0.14 (21.4) 0.10 0.12 (16.7)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM): Less: Fuel expense 2.49 2.64 (5.7) 2.29 3.01 (23.9)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuel 10.32 9.98 3.4 10.06 9.82 2.4
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuel: Less: Profit sharing per available seat mile 0.19 0.25 (24.0) 0.25 0.28 (10.7)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing 10.13 9.73 4.1 9.81 9.54 2.8

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)

UAL evaluates its financial performance utilizing various accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) and Non-GAAP financial measures, including operating income (loss) excluding special charges, income (loss) before income taxes excluding special items, net income (loss) excluding special items, and net earnings (loss) per share excluding special items, among others. UAL also presented diluted earnings per share excluding special items for the periods presented in 2015 adjusted for the impact of tax expense using the effective tax rate from the respective period in 2016 in order to make the financial measures more comparable. UAL had minimal income tax expense in the second half of 2015 that was offset by the release of its deferred tax asset valuation allowance resulting in a net income tax benefit.
  Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016 (In millions)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
$
Increase/
(Decrease)
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016 (In millions)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
$
Increase/
(Decrease)
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Operating expenses $8,047 $7,955 $92 1.2 $32,218 $32,698 $(480) (1.5)
Operating expenses: Less: Special charges (D) (31) 131 (162) NM1 638 326 312 NM1
Operating expenses, excluding special charges 8,078 7,824 254 3.2 31,580 32,372 (792) (2.4)
Operating expenses, excluding special charges: Less: Third-party business expenses 69 86 (17) (19.8) 257 291 (34) (11.7)
Operating expenses, excluding special charges: Less: Fuel expense 1,555 1,618 (63) (3.9) 5,813 7,522 (1,709) (22.7)
Operating expenses, excluding special charges: Less: Profit sharing, including taxes 122 153 (31) (20.3) 628 698 (70) (10.0)
Operating expenses, excluding fuel, profit sharing, special charges and third-party business expenses $6,332 $5,967 $365 6.1 $24,882 $23,861 $1,021 4.3
Operating income $1,005 $1,081 $(76) (7.0) $4,338 $5,166 $(828) (16.0)
Operating income: Less: Special charges (D) (31) 131 (162) NM1 638 326 312 NM1
Operating income, excluding special charges $974 $1,212 $(238) (19.6) $4,976 $5,492 $(516) (9.4)
Income before income taxes $884 $905 $(21) (2.3) $3,819 $4,219 $(400) (9.5)
Income before income taxes: Less: special items before income taxes (D) (27) 34 (61) NM1 643 279 364 NM1
Income before income taxes and excluding special items $857 $939 $(82) (8.7) $4,462 $4,498 $(36) (0.8)
Net income $397 $823 $(426) (51.8) $2,263 $7,340 $(5,077) (69.2)
Net income: Less: special items, net of tax (D) 165 111 54 NM1 594 (2,862) 3,456 NM1
Net income, excluding special items 562 934 (372) (39.8) 2,857 4,478 (1,621) (36.2)
Net income, excluding special items: Less: Income tax adjustment using 2016 tax rate for 2015 (332) 332 NM1 (1,595) 1,595 NM1
Tax adjusted net income, excluding special items $562 $602 $(40) (6.6) $2,857 $2,883 $(26) (0.9)
Diluted earnings per share $1.26 $2.24 $(0.98) (43.8) $6.85 $19.47 $(12.62) (64.8)
Diluted earnings per share: Less: special items (0.09) 0.09 (0.18) NM1 1.95 0.74 1.21 NM1
Diluted earnings per share: Less: special income tax items 0.61 0.21 0.40 NM1 (0.15) (8.33) 8.18 NM1
Diluted earnings per share, excluding special items $1.78 $2.54 $(0.76) (29.9) $8.65 $11.88 $(3.23) (27.2)
Diluted earnings per share, excluding special items: Less: Income tax adjustment using 2016 tax rate for 2015 (0.90) 0.90 NM1 (4.23) 4.23 NM1
Tax adjusted diluted earnings per share, excluding special items $1.78 $1.64 $0.14 8.5 $8.65 $7.65 $1.00 13.1

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)

UAL provides financial metrics, including earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as well as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and aircraft rent (EBITDAR), that we believe provides useful supplemental information for management and investors by measuring profit and profit as a percentage of total operating revenues. These financial metrics are adjusted for special items that are non-recurring and that management believes are not indicative of UAL's ongoing performance.
EBITDA and EBITDAR (in millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Net income $397 $823 $2,263 $7,340
Adjusted For:
Depreciation and amortization
504 476 1,977 1,819
Adjusted For: Interest expense 148 165 614 669
Adjusted For: Interest capitalized (24) (11) (72) (49)
Adjusted For: Interest income (11) (9) (42) (25)
Adjusted For: Income tax expense (benefit) (E) 487 82 1,556 (3,121)
Adjusted For: Special items before income taxes (D) (27) 34 643 279
Adjusted EBITDA, excluding special items 1,474 1,560 6,939 6,912
Adjusted EBITDA, excluding special items: Aircraft rent 159 174 680 754
Adjusted EBITDAR, excluding special items $1,633 $1,734 $7,619 $7,666
UAL believes that adjusting capital expenditures for assets acquired through the issuance of debt, 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.

 

Capital Expenditures (in millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP $880 $763 $3,223 $2,747
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP:Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt 271 69 386 866
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP:Airport construction financing 23 12 91 17
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP:Fully reimbursable projects (96) (53) (353) (124)
Capital Expenditures:Adjusted capital expenditures – Non-GAAP $1,078 $791 $3,347 $3,506
Free Cash Flow (in millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Free Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities $658 $1,115 $5,542 $5,992
Free Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities: Less capital expenditures – Non-GAAP 880 763 3,223 2,747
Free Cash Flow: Free cash flow, net of financings - Non-GAAP $(222) $352 $2,319 $3,245
Free Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities $658 $1,115 $5,542 $5,992
Free Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities: Less adjusted capital expenditures – Non-GAAP 1,078 791 3,347 3,506
Free Cash Flow: Free cash flow - Non-GAAP $(420) $324 $2,195 $2,486

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NOTES (UNAUDITED)

(B) Select passenger revenue information is as follows (in millions):
  4Q 2016
Passenger
Revenue
(millions)
Passenger
Revenue
vs.
4Q 2015
PRASM
vs.
4Q 2015
Yield
vs.
4Q 2015
Available
Seat Miles
vs.
4Q 2015
Domestic $3,378 4.0% (0.3%) 0.6% 4.3%
Atlantic 1,246 (5.2%) (2.8%) (0.2%) (2.4%)
Pacific 1,030 1.8% (6.0%) (6.2%) 8.1%
Latin America 641 6.0% 7.7% 4.2% (1.6%)
International 2,917 (0.5%) (2.2%) (2.0%) 1.8%
Mainline 6,295 1.9% (1.1%) (0.7%) 3.0%
Regional 1,466 (5.4%) 0.1% (0.3%) (5.5%)
Consolidated $7,761 0.4% (1.6%) (1.2%) 2.0%

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NOTES (UNAUDITED)

(C) UAL's results of operations include fuel expense for both mainline and regional operations. (In millions, except per gallon)
  Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Mainline fuel expense excluding hedge impacts $1,270 $1,184 7.3 $4,640 $5,711 (18.8)
Hedge losses reported in fuel expense 6 (20) (175) NM1 (217) (604) NM1
Total mainline fuel expense 1,290 1,359 (5.1) 4,857 6,315 (23.1)
Regional fuel expense 265 259 2.3 956 1,207 (20.8)
Consolidated fuel expense 1,555 1,618 (3.9) 5,813 7,522 (22.7)
Cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting 7 (115) NM1 (5) (329) NM1
Fuel expense including all losses from settled hedges $1,555 $1,733 (10.3) $5,818 $7,851 (25.9)
Mainline fuel consumption (gallons) 804 784 2.6 3,261 3,216 1.4
Mainline average aircraft fuel price per gallon $1.60 $1.73 (7.5) $1.49 $1.96 (24.0)
Mainline average aircraft fuel price per gallon excluding hedge losses recorded in fuel expense $1.58 $1.51 4.6 $1.42 $1.78 (20.2)
Mainline average aircraft fuel price per gallon including cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting $1.60 $1.88 (14.9) $1.49 $2.07 (28.0)
Regional fuel consumption (gallons) 158 167 (5.4) 643 670 (4.0)
Regional average aircraft fuel price per gallon $1.68 $1.55 8.4 $1.49 $1.80 (17.2)
Consolidated fuel consumption (gallons) 962 951 1.2 3,904 3,886 0.5
Consolidated average aircraft fuel price per gallon $1.62 $1.70 (4.7) $1.49 $1.94 (23.2)
Consolidated average aircraft fuel price per gallon excluding hedge losses recorded in fuel expense $1.60 $1.52 5.3 $1.43 $1.78 (19.7)
Consolidated average aircraft fuel price per gallon including cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting $1.62 $1.82 (11.0) $1.49 $2.02 (26.2)
  1. Includes losses from settled hedges that were designated for hedge accounting. UAL allocates 100 percent of hedge accounting gains (losses) to mainline fuel expense.
  2. Includes ineffectiveness losses on settled hedges and losses on settled hedges that were not designated for hedge accounting. Ineffectiveness gains (losses) and gains (losses) on hedges that do not qualify for hedge accounting are recorded in Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net.

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NOTES (UNAUDITED)

(D) Special items include the following:
(In millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2016 (In millions)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
Year Ended
December 31, 2016 (In millions)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
Operating:
Labor agreement costs and related items
$(60) $18 $64 $18
Operating: Severance and benefit costs 10 4 37 107
Operating: Impairment of assets 48 412 79
Operating: Cleveland airport lease restructuring 74
Operating: (Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges 19 61 51 122
Operating: (Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges: Special charges (31) 131 638 326
Nonoperating and income taxes:
Losses (gain) on extinguishment of debt and other
7 (1) 202
Nonoperating and income taxes: Income tax expense (benefit) related to special charges 12 (11) (229) (11)
Nonoperating and income taxes: Income tax expense (benefit) related to special charges: Total operating and nonoperating special charges, net of income taxes (19) 127 408 517
Nonoperating and income taxes: Income tax adjustments (E) 180 88 180 (3,130)
Nonoperating and income taxes: Mark-to-market (MTM) losses from fuel derivative contracts settling in future periods 1 (8)
Nonoperating and income taxes:Prior period gains (losses) on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period 4 (105) 6 (241)
Nonoperating and income taxes: Prior period gains (losses) on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period:Total special items, net of income taxes $165 $111 $594 $(2,862)

 

Special items

 

Labor agreement costs and related items: The fleet service, passenger service, storekeeper and other employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) ratified seven new contracts with the company which extended the contracts through 2021. The technicians and related employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) ratified a six-year joint collective bargaining agreement which extended the contract through 2022. During 2016, the company recorded $171 million ($110 million net of taxes) of special charges primarily for payments in conjunction with the IAM and IBT agreements described above. As part of the ratified contract with the IBT, the company amended some of its technicians and related employees' postretirement medical plans. The amendments triggered curtailment accounting, resulting in the recognition of a one-time $60 million gain ($38 million net of taxes) for accelerated recognition of a prior service credit in one of the plans. Also, as part of the ratified contract with the Association of Flight Attendants, the company amended two of its flight attendant postretirement medical plans. The amendments triggered curtailment accounting, resulting in the recognition of a one-time $47 million gain ($30 million net of taxes) for accelerated recognition of a prior service credit.

 

Severance and benefit costs: During the three months and year ended December 31, 2016, the company recorded $10 million ($6 million net of taxes) and $37 million ($24 million net of taxes), respectively, of severance and benefit costs related to a voluntary early-out program for the company's flight attendants and other severance agreements. In 2015, the company recorded $107 million of severance and benefit costs primarily related to a voluntary early-out program for its flight attendants. In 2014, more than 2,500 flight attendants elected to voluntarily separate from the company for a severance payment, with a maximum value of $100,000 per participant, based on years of service, with retirement dates through the end of 2016.

 

Impairment of assets: In April 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it will designate Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark) as a Level 2 schedule-facilitated airport under the International Air Transport Association Worldwide Slot Guidelines effective October 30, 2016. The designation was associated with an updated demand and capacity analysis of Newark by the FAA. In 2016, the company determined that the FAA's action impaired the entire value of its Newark slots because the slots are no longer the mechanism that governs take-off and landing rights. Accordingly, the company recorded a $412 million special charge ($264 million net of taxes) to write off the intangible asset. During its annual assessment in the fourth quarter of 2015, the company recorded $33 million ($22 million net of related income tax benefit) related to impairment of its indefinite-lived intangible assets (certain domestic slots and international Pacific routes), $8 million for the write-off of unexercised aircraft purchase options and $7 million for inventory held for sale. For the full-year 2015, the company also recorded other impairments, including $10 million for discontinued internal software projects and $10 million for the impairment of several engines held for sale.

 

Cleveland airport lease restructuring: During 2016, the City of Cleveland agreed to amend the lease, which runs through 2029, associated with certain excess airport terminal space (principally Terminal D) and related facilities at Hopkins International Airport. The company recorded an accrual for remaining payments under the lease for facilities that the company no longer uses and will continue to incur costs under the lease without economic benefit to the company. This liability was measured and recorded at its fair value when the company ceased its right to use such facilities leased to it pursuant to the lease. The company recorded a net charge of $74 million ($47 million net of taxes) related to the amended lease.

 

(Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges: During the three months and year ended December 31, 2016, the company recorded gains and losses on sale of assets and other special charges of $19 million ($12 million net of taxes) and $51 million ($33 million net of taxes), respectively. During 2015, the company recorded $122 million, which includes $60 million of integration-related costs primarily related to systems integration and training for employees, $32 million related to charges for legal matters, $16 million for the cease use of an aircraft under lease and $14 million for losses on the sale of aircraft and other miscellaneous gains and losses.

 

Losses (gain) on extinguishment of debt and other: During the year ended December 31, 2016, the company recorded $8 million ($5 million net of taxes) of losses due to exchange rate changes in Venezuela applicable to funds held in local currency and recorded a $9 million ($6 million net of taxes) gain on the sale of an affiliate. During 2015, the company recorded $202 million of losses as part of Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net due primarily to the write-off of $134 million related to the unamortized non-cash debt discount from the extinguishment of the 6% Notes due 2026 and 6% Notes due 2028, and $61 million of foreign exchange losses on its holdings of Venezuela currency.

 

MTM (gains)/losses from fuel derivative contracts settling in future periods and prior period gains/(losses) on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period: The company uses certain combinations of derivative contracts that are economic hedges but do not qualify for hedge accounting under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Additionally, the company may enter into contracts at different times and later combine those contracts into structures designated for hedge accounting. As with derivatives that qualify for hedge accounting, the economic hedges and individual contracts are part of the company's program to mitigate the adverse financial impact of potential increases in the price of fuel. The company records changes in the fair value of these various contracts that are not designated for hedge accounting to Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net in the statements of consolidated operations. During the three months and year ended December 31, 2016, the company did not record any MTM gains or losses on fuel derivative contracts that will settle in future periods. For fuel derivative contracts that settled in the three months and year ended December 31, 2016, the company recorded MTM gains of $4 million and $6 million, respectively, in prior periods. During the three months and year ended December 31, 2015, the company recorded $1 million in MTM losses and $8 million in MTM gains, respectively, on fuel derivative contracts that will settle in future periods. For fuel derivative contracts that settled in the three months and year ended December 31, 2015, the company recorded MTM losses of $105 million and $241 million, respectively, in prior periods.

 

(E)     The company's effective tax rate for the three months and year ended December 31, 2016 was 55% and 41%, respectively. The rate for both periods was impacted by a special tax expense of $180 million. The company recorded approximately $180 million of deferred income tax expense adjustments in AOCI, which related to losses on fuel hedges designated for hedge accounting. Accounting rules required the adjustments to remain in AOCI as long as the company had fuel derivatives designated for cash flow hedge accounting. In 2016, we settled all of our fuel hedges and have not entered into any new fuel derivative contracts for hedge accounting. Accordingly, the company reclassified the $180 million to income tax expense in 2016. The effective tax rate for 2016 also represented a blend of federal, state and foreign taxes and the impact of certain nondeductible items.

 

The company's effective tax rate for the three months and year ended December 31, 2015 was impacted by the valuation allowance release. After considering all positive and negative evidence, the company concluded that its deferred income taxes would more likely than not be realized. The company released substantially all of its valuation allowance in the third quarter of 2015, which resulted in a $3.2 billion benefit in its provision for income taxes.

 

 

 

SOURCE United Airlines

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

United Airlines Makes Connecting the World Easier Than Ever with ConnectionSaver

June 10, 2019

CHICAGO, June 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for the busy summer travel season, United Airlines is introducing ConnectionSaver, a new tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers connecting from one United flight to the next. ConnectionSaver is powered by new technology that automatically identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers, while ensuring those who have already boarded the aircraft arrive at their destination on time. ConnectionSaver also sends personalized text messages to every connecting customer (who has opted in to receive notifications) with clear directions to the gate for their connecting flight and information about how long the walk will take.

United's ConnectionSaver technology automatically scans flights for customers who are making tight connections to determine if the connecting flight can be held without inconveniencing other customers. The ConnectionSaver tool takes into account factors such as the time it will take for late connecting customers to travel gate-to-gate as well as the impact the hold may have on other flights and customers.

"Through improved technology and our dedication to running a reliable operation, customers with tight connections are making their flights. With summer travel picking up, as many as 150,000 customers will make connections on United flights every day and our goal is to provide our employees and these customers with the most up-to-date information to make connecting as stress-free as possible," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United.

United launched its ConnectionSaver tool on all flights at Denver International Airport in February, and then expanded it to Chicago O'Hare International Airport – two of the airline's busiest hubs with thousands of connecting customers every day. During the past four months, more than 14,400 customers, who would have otherwise missed their connections, were able to make their flights thanks to ConnectionSaver. Flights that were held for connecting customers were delayed an average of six minutes. This ConnectionSaver technology will expand to the airline's hubs by this fall and to all other airports that United operates at in the future.

"ConnectionSaver only works if it allows us to care for as many customers as possible – without inconveniencing others – and that's exactly what this technology has shown it can do. We're determined to capitalize on as many opportunities as possible to better serve and care for our customers and that's part of what sets United apart from our competitors," said Enqvist.

The ConnectionSaver program also includes text notifications personalized for customers making connections through the airline's hub airports, that will help them navigate and travel efficiently to the gate for their next flight. Once customers land at their connecting airport, they will receive a text message that tells them the gate where they are arriving, the gate where they will depart and the expected travel time between the two gates. The texts will also include a link with step-by-step directions to the next gate and a map of nearby amenities.

Earlier this year United added more detailed and helpful connection information to its reimagined mobile app. Customers using the latest version of the app will be prompted with information about their arrival and departing gates and a map of the airport once they land.

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

United Airlines Names Sarah Murphy Senior Vice President of United Express

June 10, 2019

CHICAGO, June 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today named Sarah Murphy senior vice president of United Express, where she will oversee the carrier's extensive regional network, product, customer service, operations and strategy. Murphy most recently served as United's vice president of global operations strategy, planning and design, where her responsibilities included leading all customer-facing operations strategy and planning to help the airline's employees deliver better reliability and service. Murphy will report to Chief Operations Officer Greg Hart.

"With Sarah, the United Express team is gaining a versatile leader who will guide our strong regional operations to new levels of success. Her diverse background at United, leading teams in finance and our operation, is a perfect fit for this role as we strive to improve the overall experience for our customers and make their journey seamless, whether on United or United Express," said Hart.

Murphy was instrumental in launching United's core4 service model founded on four standards – safe, caring, dependable and efficient. The airline began core4 training with its customer-facing employees and eventually rolled out the training to all 93,000 United employees.

Previously, Murphy served as United's vice president of financial planning and analysis, overseeing the airline's operating and capital budgets. Murphy also served as United's managing director of financial and capital planning and leading investor relations.

Prior to joining United in 2006, Murphy worked at Merrill Lynch in its investment banking division.

In 2015, Murphy was named one of Crain's Chicago's "40 Under 40." She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Murphy and her husband Tom have two children and reside in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.

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. United recently released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry 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. The multimillion-dollar investment in improving inflight entertainment options will benefit the more than 29 million people expected to fly United's DIRECTV-enabled planes this year.

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

The University of Southern California and United Airlines Agree to Field Naming

June 07, 2019

LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California and United Airlines announce a new agreement to name the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Under this 10-year deal commencing in August 2019, the field at the historic landmark, memorial to World War I veterans and home of the USC Trojans, will be referred to as United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

USC and United worked together to reach an agreement that retains the original venue name while still providing funding to support a $315 million project to restore and preserve the Coliseum and upgrade its facilities for fans, athletes and the community.

"USC is honored to be the caretaker of this Los Angeles treasure and, together with United, we are ensuring the Coliseum's future as a world-class venue," said USC interim President Wanda M. Austin. "The naming of the field is a significant step in USC's efforts to usher in a modern era for this historic landmark and preserve its legacy. Through this process, USC was guided by doing the right thing for the community as we continue to honor our veterans. We look forward to the opening of United Airlines Field within the newly renovated Coliseum this summer."

"United has a long history in Los Angeles, serving the city for more than 80 years. With so many employees, many of whom are proud veterans themselves, and customers that travel to or call the area home, this sponsorship is a meaningful way to underscore our commitment to California," said Janet Lamkin, President, California for United Airlines. "We always want to do what is best for the communities in which we operate – and in this case, reaching an agreement which upholds the name of such a respected venue while modernizing it for the benefit of future generations was the right thing to do."

In addition to the stadium's renovation, as part of this new agreement USC and United worked together to identify additional ways to honor local veterans including providing support for veterans who attend USC as well as erecting a memorial in honor of veterans at the Coliseum. More details on these initiatives will be shared as the programs are finalized.

"I am pleased that USC and United have come together in a way that will honor the memories of veterans who served in World War I and our broader community of veterans," said Janice Hahn, president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. "This agreement ensures that United Airlines remains an important corporate sponsor of the Coliseum renovation project and that the legacy of the Coliseum remains. I am proud that we are moving forward with a shared commitment to veterans."

About USC
The University of Southern California, founded in 1880, is one of the world's leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles and a global center for arts, technology and international business, USC generates more than $8 billion in economic activity in California each year and is the largest private employer in Los Angeles.

USC has a long and proud history of supporting military service members and veterans, serving as a training school for Army officers during World War I, launching the first master's of social work dedicated to serving veterans, creating a master's of business for veterans and last year developing dedicated student housing for veteran students.

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".

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

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

We're Moving: United Airlines Begins Flight Operations at LaGuardia Airport's New Terminal B Eastern Concourse on June 2

May 30, 2019

CHICAGO, May 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This weekend United customers traveling through New York-LaGuardia Airport will experience new gates on the Terminal B Eastern Concourse, following the first phase of the $4 billion, 1.3-million-square-foot redevelopment project of Terminal B, operated by LaGuardia Gateway Partners. With soaring ceilings up to 55-feet high and plenty of natural light, customers will have thirteen new shops, restaurants and services in the concourse to visit; all inspired by the best of New York – from the iconic Shake Shack and local Irving Farm Coffee Roasters to an outpost of New York's famous toy store, FAO Schwarz.

"United customers depend on LaGuardia for frequent service to key business cities such as Chicago and Denver and the new Terminal B represents a huge improvement in the facilities we are able to provide, including a gorgeous new United Club," said Jill Kaplan, United's President of New York and New Jersey. "A world-class city like New York deserves a state-of-the-art airport – which is why we are absolutely thrilled to be moving our operations to the spectacular new Terminal B Eastern Concourse at LaGuardia Airport."

"The move of United and its passengers into the first new concourse at Terminal B marks another key milestone of the $8 billion redevelopment of an entirely new LaGuardia Airport," said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. "This is another important step in our ongoing commitment to provide world class facilities that turn Governor Cuomo's vision for a 21st century LaGuardia into reality. And we are undertaking this comprehensive rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport while continuing full operation at LaGuardia and serving record numbers of passengers."

The new concourse features ample gate seating, with charging stations throughout the seating area along with free unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi, offered by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Additional features include a "park area" complete with greenery and benches, an airport themed children's play area which contains a 16-foot interactive display and restrooms with spacious stalls and above sink shelves that will keep belongings dry while washing hands.

As part of the terminal redevelopment, United will open its newest United Club on June 2. Conveniently located after security near United's gates, the new club offers a private oasis of 10,500 square feet with sweeping views of the tarmac. The Club, which is 30 percent larger than the prior LGA United Club location, combines the sleek styles of New York City with the modern touches travelers desire and features more than 200 seats. Customers can enjoy an expanded food menu including distinctly New York selections such as the iconic New York Bagel provider, Ess-a-Bagel, which will be paired with assorted cream cheese, jams and smokehouse salmon spread, a Greek salad bar and rotating hot foods including oven-baked Neapolitan ziti, fast-fired pesto and goat cheese flatbread, bite sized reuben corned beef with sauerkraut and more. Menu options will rotate throughout the day with hot and cold entrees available all-day. Additional amenities include complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, wellness rooms and phone booths.

To download images of LGA United Club and new gates within Terminal B: https://app.box.com/s/tt6yu4d8y2d136xkxjgk0mwnprkmxu27

United Airlines Operations at LGA

Within the new Terminal B Eastern Concourse at LaGuardia Airport, United Airlines will operate out of five gates, offering more than 40 daily flights, including the most flights and seats between LaGuardia Airport and key business markets like Denver and Houston. The airline offers 17 daily flights between LaGuardia Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, more than any other airline at LGA. Additionally, United offers the only service from LaGuardia Airport to Washington-Dulles Airport (IAD) and the Northern Virginia business corridor.

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 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 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 Airlines Expands Industry-Leading Commitment to Biofuel, Powering More Flights With More Biofuel Than Any Other U.S. Carrier

May 22, 2019

CHICAGO, May 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today further strengthened its emerging reputation as the world's most environmentally conscious airline by renewing its 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. The biofuel, which United currently uses to help sustainably power every flight departing its Los Angeles hub, achieves a greater than 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.

United's contract renewal follows the airline's original purchase agreement in 2013, helping United make history in 2016 when it became the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation biofuel on a continuous basis. United is currently the only U.S. airline to use biofuel in its regular operations. World Energy's biofuel is made from agricultural waste and has received sustainability certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

World Energy recently announced that it will invest $350 million to fully convert its Paramount, California, facility to renewable diesel and sustainable aviation jet fuel, bringing its total capacity to more than 300 million gallons of production annually at that location, one of the company's six low-carbon fuel manufacturing plants.

"Investing in sustainable aviation biofuel is one of the most effective measures a commercial airline can take to reduce its impact on the environment," said Scott Kirby, United's president. "As leaders in this space, United and World Energy are setting an example for the industry on how innovators can work together to bring our customers, colleagues and communities toward a more sustainable future."

"Great companies lead," said Gene Gebolys, World Energy's chief executive officer. "We are honored to renew our commitment to United to advance their efforts to drive change to a lower carbon future."

United's contract renewal with World Energy will further assist the airline in achieving its recently announced commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. United's pledge to reduce emissions by 50% relative to 2005 represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road, or the total number of cars in New York City and Los Angeles combined. United's biofuel supply agreements represent more than 50% of the commercial aviation industry's total agreements for sustainable aviation biofuel.

United's Commitment to the Environment

United's latest investment in sustainable aviation biofuel, along with its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, represents yet another innovative initiative the airline has undertaken to minimize its impact on the environment. Several of United's most significant environmental achievements include:

  • Becoming the first airline to fly with Boeing's Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by an additional 2% 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.
  • Eliminating non-recyclable plastic stirring sticks and cocktail picks on aircraft and replacing them with an environmentally friendly product made of 100% bamboo.
  • 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.
  • Continuing to replace its eligible ground equipment with cleaner, electrically powered alternatives, with nearly 40% of the fleet converted to date.

United's Award-Winning Eco-Skies Program

United's award-winning Eco-Skies program represents the company's commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In 2017, Air Transport World magazine named United the Eco-Airline of the Year for the second time since the airline launched the Eco-Skies program. Last year, United Airlines ranked No. 1 among global carriers in Newsweek's Global 500 Green Rankings, one of the most recognized environmental performance assessments of the world's largest publicly traded companies.

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

Pride Flies with United

May 20, 2019

CHICAGO, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Airlines announced new and exciting opportunities to help customers celebrate Pride Month through MileagePlus Exclusives benefitting United charity partner, The Trevor Project. As part of its mission to become the most inclusive airline in the world, United employees will also take part in 12 Pride parades globally, demonstrating United's support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Available now, MileagePlus members can bid using award miles for three Pride packages, including but not limited to:

  • Five Pride parade travel packages to walk with United in the Pride parade in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago or New York City for WorldPride 2019
  • Drag Queen Brunches which will take place in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago and Newark Liberty International Airport with OTG
  • Family Movie Night in the park in New York City

"As Pride Month approaches, we invite MileagePlus members to show their pride, embrace the LGBTQ+ community and join United in saying 'all routes lead to love'," said Luc Bondar, United's president of MileagePlus and vice president of Loyalty. "United is thrilled to offer these unique Pride experiences and help The Trevor Project in their mission to support LGBTQ youth."

Additionally, on June 28, United Airlines in partnership with iHeartMedia's Z100, will celebrate PRIDE LIVE's Stonewall Day, honoring the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. PRIDE LIVE will be inducting representatives from United Airlines into their STONEWALL ambassador program during the day's events.

Customers can access all MileagePlus Exclusives Pride packages and find more details through http://exclusives.mileageplus.com/pride. United Airlines will donate every mile redeemed from Pride experiences to United's charity partner, The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth.

"Supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis from every state across the country takes significant travel resources, and we're grateful to United Airlines for contributing to our mission in such a valuable way," said Muneer Panjwani, Head of Corporate Development for The Trevor Project. "Their commitment to our mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ youth makes them a valued partner throughout the year, helping us save young LGBTQ lives every day."

Today's announcement follows United's most recent announcement offering an airfare discount and free checked bikes for customers flying to ride in the AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Available for purchase now, the discount is valid for cyclists booking travel originating worldwide to San Francisco International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and out of Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne, and Burbank airports, between May 26 to June 11.

Throughout the month of June, United Airlines will continue offering customers opportunities to engage in Pride Month activities. Pride parades United will participate in include: Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Denver; Houston; San Jose, Costa Rica; Mexico City; Bogota, Colombia; San Francisco; Chicago; New York City; London; and Honolulu.

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 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 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 Airlines and Audubon International Team Up to Save Owls in San Francisco

May 17, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, May 17, 2019 — United Airlines today strengthened its emerging reputation as the world's most environmentally conscious airline by announcing that the carrier is expanding its successful Raptor Relocation Network to its premier West Coast hub, San Francisco International Airport. United is again teaming up with Audubon International to trap raptors – primarily barn owls – residing near the airport and resettle these birds of prey at suitable golf course habitats where the species are more likely to thrive.

United initially partnered with Audubon International to launch the Raptor Relocation Network in 2017 at Newark Liberty International Airport, where it has successfully resettled more than 80 birds – including several American kestrels, a species of concern in New Jersey. United will now work in tandem with Audubon International and San Francisco airport officials to resettle the barn owls and other at-risk species at Bay Area golf courses certified within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. As an official sponsor of the PGA Tour, United is uniquely positioned to help connect wildlife professionals at airports with the suitable golf course habitats identified by Audubon International for relocation purposes and to help inform the public on the importance of environmental sustainability.

United's expansion of the Raptor Relocation Network follows the airline's recent announcement in San Francisco that the company has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. United's pledge to reduce emissions by 50% relative to 2005 represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road, or the total number of cars in New York City and Los Angeles combined.

"Being environmentally conscious means more than just reducing our footprint; it means convening different groups to develop new and innovative ways to actively protect vulnerable species," said Janet Lamkin, United's president of California. "As we continue our commitment to protect raptors in the New York area, we are excited to expand our efforts to San Francisco and further underscore our industry-leading efforts to operate sustainably and responsibly."

"Audubon International is excited to be working with United Airlines' Eco-Skies program to expand the Raptor Relocation Network to the West Coast," said Christine Kane, Audubon International's chief executive officer. "Thousands of golf courses across the world have adopted environmentally sustainable property management practices that support wildlife habitat through our Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Bringing this all together to provide safe, high-quality habitat for raptors is a great success."

United's Commitment to the Environment

The expansion of United's Raptor Relocation Program represents yet another innovative initiative the airline has undertaken to minimize its impact on the environment. 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 from United's supplier, World Energy.
  • 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%; United is the largest Scimitar winglet operator today, with nearly 300 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.
  • Eliminating non-recyclable plastic stirring sticks and cocktail picks on aircraft and replacing them with an environmentally friendly product made of 100% bamboo.
  • Continuing to replace its eligible ground equipment with cleaner, electrically powered alternatives, with nearly 40% of the fleet converted to date.

United's Award-Winning Eco-Skies Program

United's award-winning Eco-Skies program represents the company's commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In 2017, Air Transport World magazine named United the Eco-Airline of the Year for the second time since the airline launched the Eco-Skies program. Last year, United Airlines ranked No. 1 among global carriers in Newsweek's Global 500 Green Rankings, one of the most recognized environmental performance assessments of the world's largest publicly traded companies.

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".

Her Art Here: United Unveils Winning Designs by Female Artists for Upcoming Aircraft Paint Job

May 17, 2019

CHICAGO, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today United Airlines revealed the two winning designs, selected through a combination of official judging and public voting, 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. While 51% of today's artists are women, less than 13% of art on display in museums is by women artists according to The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Having their designs painted on a Boeing 757 provides artists with a traveling canvas that flies on average 1.6 million miles a year and 476 cross-country trips. The aircraft is roughly 3,666 times larger than the typical 18" x 24" canvas.

Tsungwei Moo of San Francisco has been selected for her design depicting iconic landmarks as well as the palm trees and ocean that are synonymous with the state of California. On behalf of New York/New Jersey, Corinne Antonelli of Washington, New Jersey is the winner, with a design that features a globe signaling United's worldwide connectivity and classic imagery from the two states including a classic New Jersey Mill, the New York City Skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The two winners will be mentored by renowned artists prior to one aircraft per region being painted this fall.

Tsungwei Moo grew up in Taipei, Taiwan before emigrating to San Francisco, California. For the past seven years she has served as an artist in residence at Yosemite National Park. Focused on ceramics, printmaking and painting, her art is an expression of the wonders of nature and humanity.

"I believe creating and appreciating art should not be defined by gender and cultural differences. As an emerging immigrant female artist, winning Her Art Here gives me a great platform to let the world see my art," said Moo. "14 years ago, I arrived in the United States on a United Airlines flight to follow my dreams and to be an artist, so it is truly surreal to have won this contest."

Corinne Antonelli is a New Jersey native, studying illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design. Her design is a tribute to her home region, and hopes it serves as an example to young girls around the world who are interested in a career in the arts that anything is possible.

"Winning the Her Art Here contest means the world to me. When I was a young girl I had many artists I looked up to and felt inspired by and now I have the opportunity to become a role model for other young girls looking to pursue a career in the arts. It feels amazing being selected as the winner from the New York and New Jersey region– I've lived in New Jersey my entire life and have fallen in love with the state," noted Antonelli.

The Her Art Here contest was open to those who identify as a woman, including cisgender, transgender, woman-aligned or non-binary, and reside in the United States, and asked artists to visually represent either New York/New Jersey or California, two key markets for the airline, in their own style, while combining the company's mission and what the communities in each region mean to the artist. Entries were scored by a panel of judges based on contest criteria and winners were determined based on a combination of judging scores and public voting.

The winners, along with the top finalists, will have the opportunity for their artwork to be displayed inside United terminals throughout the remainder of 2019 with their works available to purchase. Winners and finalists all received 100,000 MileagePlus award miles and the two regional winners will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize.

United has long been committed to being a leader in advancing women in the aviation industry. Today the carrier has more women who are pilots than any other airline in the world, including Bebe O'Neil, United's System Chief Pilot, who manages the carrier's 12,600 pilots. The airline has worked with Women in Aviation, a nonprofit organization which provides networking, education, mentoring, and scholarship opportunities, for more than 25 years and Girls in Aviation Day to ensure a growing number of female pilots.

To see the winners' reaction and to download images of their designs visit: https://app.box.com/s/6afeok3w0acw46rqd6plfeti6wg72aoj

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 released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry 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. The multimillion-dollar investment in improving inflight entertainment options will benefit the more than 29 million people expected to fly United's DIRECTV-enabled planes this year.

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 4,800 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, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 770 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express carriers operate 559 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

U.S. Department of Transportation Tentatively Grants United Airlines Authority to Operate New Service to Tokyo Haneda

May 16, 2019

CHICAGO, May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that United Airlines was tentatively granted a total of four daily nonstop flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND). The slots will be allocated for flights from United's hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Pending completion of an aviation agreement between the U.S. and Japanese governments later this year, the flights are expected to begin service by the summer of 2020.

"As the largest U.S. carrier to Asia, we are excited to see we were granted additional slots to Haneda to help more Americans travel between our nation and Japan's capital city, which will offer our customers an unparalleled experience while maximizing choice," said United Airlines President Scott Kirby. "We would like to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation for its work in reviewing our proposal and advocating for what is best for the American public and for our economy. We also recognize the efforts of the U.S. State Department's work with the DOT to enable additional service at Haneda."

Together, the flights from these U.S. mainland hub cities will connect Tokyo Haneda with:

  • The U.S.'s largest metropolitan area and center of finance and commerce, Newark/New York;
  • The most important logistics and transportation hub in the Midwest, Chicago;
  • The seat of the U.S. federal government, Washington, D.C.; and
  • Additional U.S. carrier service in the largest U.S. mainland - Tokyo market at Los Angeles.

This announcement will strengthen United's broad-based and end-to-end network between the United States and Japan. United's proposed flights to Haneda would allow U.S. consumers to make connections to 37 points in Japan via United's joint venture partner All Nippon Airways (ANA), strengthening United's existing comprehensive network. Throughout this proceeding United has been the only U.S. airline to recognize the unique benefits that Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita offer to the traveling public.

Only United has committed to providing service to both Tokyo airports from regions across the United States. United has proven its long-term commitment to Tokyo as a key gateway in Asia, serving Tokyo from all seven of its U.S. mainland hubs. United also serves 31 markets in the Asia/Pacific region, more than any other U.S. carrier, and has successfully launched 11 new nonstop flights from the U.S. mainland to destinations throughout the Asia/Pacific region since 2014.

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 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 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 Airlines App Crowned Best of the Best with Webby Award Win

May 14, 2019

CHICAGO, May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Last night at the 23rd Annual Webby Awards in New York City, United Airlines accepted the "People's Voice" Webby Award in the "Business and Finance" category for the airline's reimagined mobile app, which debuted earlier this year. The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including apps. This year, 13,000 entries came from every U.S. state and more than 70 countries to be considered for this honor.

Already the top downloaded airline app for Apple and Android phones, the refreshed app features a more dynamic experience that updates customers at each step of their travel journey, making it the perfect travel companion. The app includes features customers know and love from the previous version, such as bag tracking, while adding enhancements that make managing travel easier from booking to landing. United's in-house digital team spent over a year designing and creating this updated app, including eight months during which customers and more than 18,000 employees provided feedback to create the final version.

"We're working hard every day to use technology to improve the travel experience," said Linda Jojo, chief digital officer at United. "What makes this recognition so special is that our win is because of our customers who voted for us – we love knowing they value the app that we created with them in mind."

Highlights from the improved app include:

  • A navigation bar that gives customers quick access to some of the most popular tools such as flight status, and some new handy features like My Trips.
  • A My Trips tab in the navigation bar that allows customers to easily access information about their upcoming trip and stores boarding passes when customers are checked in for their flights.
  • An inbox that stores important push notifications United sends customers about their flight, such as if a flight status changes, gate changes and alerts about when boarding for a flight has begun.
  • Dynamic boarding times will be updated throughout the app in the event that departure times change to give customers the latest information even when they are not at the gate. This builds on the airline's recent addition of boarding notifications, which were added when United rolled out its Better Boarding process.

One of the biggest updates to the app comes during the travel period, when the home screen updates to give customers the most helpful information for each step of their travel journey. The home screen will begin to update starting 48 hours before a flight and will continue updating throughout various phases all the way through arrival at the final destination with the most useful information. For instance, customers connecting will find a screen that allows them to easily access airport maps, so they can easily navigate to the next gate. Bringing the most useful information to the forefront will make the entire journey less stressful and more intuitive.

The app also includes an updated design with more engaging content. When a customer does not have an upcoming trip, the app will open to a beautiful destination image to provide travel inspiration. Content on the home screen is also more personalized to each user; for example, customers who recently passed loyalty milestones will be recognized on the home screen, and the app will also celebrate customers on their birthday.

In addition to winning the "People's Voice" award for "Business and Finance", the airline was also a finalist in the "Best Practices" category. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences selects nominees to enter to the "People's Voice" awards, which are then voted on by the general public. Earlier this month, United received a CIO 100 Award for its innovative volunteer solicitation program, which enables customers to volunteer their seat, confirm a new flight itinerary and receive compensation through the mobile app or on united.com, without additional steps at the gate.

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 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 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