United Airlines reports doubled profit in Q1 2019
United Airlines doubled its net income in the first quarter of 2019 to 292 million U.S. dollars, thanks to rising passenger revenue and non-fuel cost control.
According to a presentation released for a conference call on Wednesday, the company reported a 101.4 percent increase in its Q1 net income, compared to 145 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.
The Chicago-based airline pegged its Q1 pre-tax margin at 3.8 percent, up 1.8 percentage points year on year, and contributed the better performance to more passengers it carried and effective cost management.
Its Q1 passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.1 percent year on year, with the Asia Pacific routes recording the highest 4.5 percent rise as a result of "healthy economy cabin demand across the region."
The airline said it also achieved second-highest mainline on-time departures rate performance among major U.S. airlines, just after Delta.
During the first three months, the airline took delivery of four Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, prior to the March 13 Federal Aviation Administration order of grounding U.S.-registered 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft.
Despite the Boeing grounding and extreme weather conditions, the airline "delivered another strong financial quarter, in which we made important progress on our customer investments while making strategic decisions to manage our costs and producing pre-tax margin growth that we expect will lead our peers," Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines, was quoted as saying.