More on United Continental's (UAL) Q2: Like its rivals, UAL benefited from lower fuel costs, but the carrier also managed to improve passenger revenue per available seat mile by 1% as some of its peers fell back. Consolidated capacity declined 2.1% to help bring up UAL's load factor to 84.7%, the best mark it ever recorded for the second quarter of the year. (PR)
United Continental (UAL) says consolidated air traffic shrank 0.6% in June as capacity declined 2% Y/Y. Load factor increased however, to 87.7% from 86.5%. Revenue per available seat mile increased an estimated 3.5% to 4.5% from June 2012.
Airliners continue to find new ways to raise revenue through in-air services and fees. Ticket prices account for only 70% of revenue, down from 84% in 2000, a mark that could fall even further as carriers (DAL, LCC, JBLU, UAL, AAMRQ.PK, ALGT, LUV, RJET, SAVE) roll out new twists such as "annual subscriptions" and express security screening.
Will there be no end to the glitches affecting Boeing's (BA) Dreamliner? In the latest in a series of incidents since commercial 787 flights resumed following a long enforced grounding because of battery problems, a United Airlines (UAL) jet traveling from Houston to Denver returned to Texas due to a brake indicator issue. The question is whether the 787 is experiencing the same number of hitches as all other planes but is receiving more media attention, or whether these incidents really are out of the ordinary.
A United Airlines (UAL) Boeing (BA) Dreamliner traveling from London to Houston made an unscheduled stop in New Jersey yesterday due to a low oil indication. The incident is the second one this week involving an oil glitch on a 787, with a United flight from Denver to Tokyo suffering from a possible problem with an oil filter in an engine. Boeing said the two incidents were not related.
Boeing's (BA) 787 has suffered another hiccup after an apparent problem with an oil filter in one of the plane's engines forced a United Airlines (UAL) Dreamliner flying to Tokyo from Denver to make an unscheduled landing in Seattle. There was no indication that the problem was related to the 787's revamped battery, but it is the latest of several glitches to plague the jet since commercial flights resumed recently.
Paris Air Show: As widely expected, Boeing (BA) has officially launched the 787-10, a stretched version of the Dreamliner with up to 330 seats, and said it already has orders for 102 jets from five buyers (PR). One of these is United Airlines (UAL), which will be the launch customer in North America with a booking for 20 aircraft, including an upgrade on 10 existing 787 orders. Air Lease Corp. (AL) has booked 30 (PR). Meanwhile, Ryanair's (RYAAY) shareholders have approved the carrier's acquisition of 175 Boeing 737 aircraft in a deal worth $15.6B at list prices.
United Continental Holdings (UAL) is finally enjoying some smooth flying after an "awful" 2012, CEO Jeff Smisek has said. Last year, the carrier lost $723M and suffered a wave of canceled and delayed flights, partly as an after-effect of the 2010 merger between United Airlines and Continental. "For far too long, we've operated this company as an airline. Airlines don't make money," Smisek added.
The airline sector saw a drop in unit revenue during May even with a decent load factor increase of 70 bps to 84.4% during the month. Unit revenue were down for all major carriers - except Delta Air Line (DAL) with a 0.5% gain and JetBlue (JBLU) with a 1% increase. May unit revenue growth scorecard: US Airways (LCC) -1%; United Continental (UAL) 0% to -1%; Allegiant (ALGT) -8.2% to -8.6%; Alaska Airlines (ALK) -3.3%; American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK) -1.8%; Southwest Airlines (LUV) -2%.
Airline stocks move higher with more rosy forecasts on business travel demand and a Goldman Sachs upgrade on United Continental helping to tip sentiment. The general take on the sector - and UAL in particular - is that many of the negatives have been factored into share price. Advancers: UAL +5.4%, DAL +3.6%, JBLU +3.1%, LCC +1.3%, ALK +3.1%.
United Airlines (UAL -0.1%) announces a couple of new subscription programs under which travelers can prepay for an entire year of baggage fees ($349) or to have the option to reserve seats ($499) in the leggy Economy Plus section of its planes for a year. The subscription packages are unique to the industry and has analysts scratching their heads on if interest will be high.
United Airlines (UAL) commits to buy at least 15M gallons of cleaner-burning renewable jet fuel from a Los Angeles-based refinery, marking a potentially major breakthrough in the commercial aviation industry’s quest to cut carbon dioxide emissions. United is planning to use the biofuel on flights out of its L.A. hub, with supplies coming from AltAir Fuels via a retrofitted petroleum refinery, beginning next year.