United Airlines’ financial performance remains strong this quarter, as shown in its quarterly financial report. Like many North American Airlines, United has recovered from the difficulties faced during the pandemic restrictions and the subsequent delays and cancellations affecting airlines after the pandemic restrictions were lifted.

In North America, delays and cancellations occurred during the Independence Day weekend, affecting American and Canadian airports and airlines.

United airlines plane with staff cheering in front.
United Airlines has recovered from the difficulties faced during the pandemic. | © United Airlines

United Airlines’ Financial Performance

So what is United Airlines’ Financial Performance now? The airline has recorded a net income of USD 942 million in the three months up to September 30th 2022. This compares favourably to the previous year when United Airlines’ financial performance was still in the black but not as good as it is now.

In the three months up to September 30th 2021, United Airlines posted a net income of USD 473 million, approximately half the profit made in the three months up to September 30th 2022, showing that United Airline’s financial performance is not just profitable but has almost doubled its net income.

However, United Airlines’ financial performance still has to improve further to reach the levels seen in pre-pandemic 2019. The data released shows that in pre-Covid 2019, in the three months up to September 2019, United Airlines’ financial performance was better than it is now.

The net income at this time was USD 1.024 billion. This is 8.7% higher than the USD 942 million profit in this year’s third quarter. However, it does appear that the gap is closing. After all, the difference in profitability between pre-Covid 2019 and the same quarter in 2021 is starker, with the pre-Covid profit more than double that in the third quarter of 2021.

United airlines plane on tarmac against sunset.
United Airlines’ financial performance is not back to pre-pandemic levels. | © United Airlines

United Airline’s Revenue

In the three months up to September 30th 2022, United Airlines had an operating revenue (revenue from its services) of USD 12.877 billion. This is higher than the pre-Covid 2019 revenue, which was USD 11.38 billion in the three months up to September 30th 2019. The airline’s financial performance was high in terms of revenue, exceeding pre-Covid 2019 levels.

Regarding revenue, United Airlines’ financial performance was 13.2% better in the third quarter of this year compared with the third quarter in pre-Covid 2019. While revenue has increased compared to pre-Covid times, net income has reduced, indicating that costs have increased disproportionately since pre-Covid. This has been a common occurrence among airlines due to increased operational costs and fuel prices, primarily due to the costs of bringing planes back into use and the war in Ukraine.

So it seems United Airlines’ financial performance is moving in the right direction. It does appear that even though revenue has improved since pre-pandemic 2019, profitability has not. Nevertheless, profitability is still more than last year, so the situation is improving.

The fact that revenue has improved but profitability has not indicates that the company is finding it more challenging to control costs. However, in the released report, the company writes that United Airlines’ financial performance has exceeded the company’s expectations. It also talks about how it expects its strong post-Covid recovery trend to continue. We have to wait to see how this progresses.

What do you think about United Airlines’ recent financials? Do you think it shows the same recovery that we do? Let us know in the comments.

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