United announces third quarter results, poised to meet 2022 targets

  • Returns aircraft to full service 2022



United Airlines (UAL) has announced third-quarter 2021 financial results. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the third quarter, the company remains confidently on track to achieve the range of longer-term financial targets laid out as part of its United Next plan earlier this summer, and to reduce CASM-ex1 below 2019 levels next year.

Citing the rebound in premium leisure travel, re-opening of European borders next month, the continued recovery of business travel, and early indications of loosening travel restrictions in key Pacific markets, United also announced plans to increase international capacity by 10% in 2022 – while keeping domestic capacity flat to 2019.

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The plan will capitalize on already improving international margins and United’s ideally situated coastal hubs that have powered the airline’s recent success in launching new routes to Africa and India.


United Airlines’ aircraft

Expected flying at record levels to Europe, Latin America, India, Africa, and the Middle East in summer 2022, will be enabled by the anticipated return of United’s Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 777s to the fleet in 2022, which – when combined with already announced approximately $2.2 billion in structural cost reduction and planned gauge growth – will allow United to keep CASM-ex1 in check as it continues on the path to recovery.

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“The recovery was delayed by the Delta variant, but the United team remains focused on our long-term vision – and not getting sidetracked by near-term volatility – meaning we’re solidly on track to achieve the targets we set for 2022,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby.

“From the return of business travel and the planned re-opening of Europe and early indications for opening in the Pacific, the headwinds we’ve faced are turning to tailwinds, and we believe that United is better positioned to lead the recovery than any airline in the world.

“Our recovery will be supported by investments in technology and other efficiencies that will give our employees the tools they need to take great care of our customers – and keep costs under control. I am grateful to our United team members for their continued commitment to our customers, because it has been essential to our ability to weather the pandemic, and it will fuel our success in the years ahead.”

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Wole Shadare