Aviation News

October 21, 2010

United Continental Posts 3rd Quarter Profit, Announces Plans to Limit Capacity in 2011

United Continental Holdings Inc. on Thursday announced that both companies posted profits in the third quarter of 2010 and that they will lift capacity just 1% to 2% in 2011.

United Continental Holdings said United had a profit of $387 million, or $1.75 per share, while Continental reported a profit of $354 million, or $2.16 per share. United lost $57 million in 2009 during the same period, while Continental lost $18 million.

United consolidated passenger revenue increased 21.4 percent, or $878 million, in the third quarter 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) for the third quarter of 2010 increased 3.9 percent while capacity increased 2.6 percent year-over-year, resulting in a third quarter consolidated load factor of 85.9 percent.

United’s cargo revenue in the third quarter of 2010 increased 40 percent, or $50 million, year-over-year.

Meanwhile, Continental consolidated passenger revenue increased 20.6 percent, or $608 million, in the third quarter 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. Consolidated RPMs for the third quarter of 2010 increased 1.6 percent while capacity increased 0.6 percent year-over-year, resulting in a third quarter consolidated load factor of 85.9 percent.

Continental’s cargo revenue in the third quarter of 2010 increased 25 percent, or $23 million, compared to the same period in 2009.

Jeff Smisek, chief executive of United Continental, said the combined airline will “remain committed to capacity discipline,” lifting capacity just 1% to 2% in 2011. Smisek told Dow Jones Newswires that the company is ahead of schedule in securing a single operator certificate, allowing it to merge staff and fleets.