United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) announced that it expects to make a profit in 2022 for the first time since the pandemic hit as passengers begin to book and pay more for flights. Shares rose 7% during after-hours trading Wednesday following the strong outlook. Furthermore, the carrier reported mixed first-quarter earnings.
The major airline reported an earnings loss of USD4.24 per share, compared to the expected USD4.22 a share. Revenue amounted to USD7.57 Billion, lower than analysts anticipated USD7.68 Billion. United experienced a loss of USD1.4 Billion within the quarter.
“I am proud of the United team that once again managed to overcome the challenges of the quarter and prioritized high operating reliability for our customers by gradually adding back capacity. Our team continues to do an outstanding job of caring for our customers,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “The demand environment is the strongest it’s been in my 30 years in the industry – and United and its customers will benefit more than any other airline. We’re now seeing clear evidence that the second quarter will be an historic inflection point for our business. It leaves me more optimistic than ever about United’s future.”
United also predicts a 10% operating margin for the second quarter, as well as the best quarterly sales on record, with revenue per passenger mile up 17% over 2019. This comes amid rising fares that help cover the increase in other expenses.