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United Airlines posts US$1.8b Q3 loss as revenue plunges 78pc

UNITED Airlines has reported a US$1

22 October 2020 - 19:00

UNITED Airlines has reported a US$1.8 billion loss for the third quarter as it restructured its operations to reflect lower demand following the near-collapse of the passenger aviation industry earlier this year.

The Chicago-based carrier said it had reduced its capacity by 70 per cent during the recently completed quarter, resulting in a 78 per cent decline in revenue. United's third-quarter revenue came in at $2.5 billion, compared to $11.3 billion in the same period in 2019.



Cargo revenue surged almost 50 per cent with many airlines including United pivoted to all cargo flights after belly cargo was hit hard due to the grounding of thousands of aircraft as a result of the pandemic.



Passenger revenue fell 84 per cent during the period, as lockdowns and strict quarantine requirements in some geographies made travelling almost impossible.



'Having successfully executed our initial crisis strategy, we're ready to turn the page on seven months that have been dedicated to developing and implementing extraordinary and often painful measures, like furloughing 13,000 team members, to survive the worst financial crisis in aviation history,' said chief executive Scott Kirby.



In reducing its workforce, the carrier was able to cut its total operating costs by 59 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago, the airline said.



The carrier received $5 billion sector-specific federal payroll support assistance in March in order help it manage through the pandemic. In return for the aid, major airlines promised no involuntary furloughs until the end of the third quarter. That financial assistance programme expired on October 1, and even though airlines, unions trade organisations and others lobbied hard for an extension, none have come so far, reports London's Air Cargo News.


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