United Airlines reported that Q1 2021 operating revenue was down 66 percent from Q1 2019, although the air carrier reported improved average core cash burn from the previous quarter.
To that end, the company reported a Q1 2021 average core cash burn of $9 million daily, marking an improvement of approximately $10 million daily compared to Q4 2020.
In terms of strategy, United Airlines said it is working to benefit from pent-up demand to places where people who are vaccinated can travel. The company recently revealed new international flying to Croatia, Iceland and Greece, subject to government approval.
CEO Scott Kirby said in an earnings press release that the company is “encouraged by the strong evidence of pent-up demand for air travel and our continued ability to nimbly match it, which is why we’re as confident as ever that we’ll hit our goal to exceed 2019 adjusted EBITDA margins in 2023, if not sooner.”
All in, United Airlines posted an adjusted diluted loss per share (Non-GAAP) of $7.50 on $3.22 billion in total operating revenue. The results fell short of analyst estimates of a loss per share of $7.08 on $3.26 billion in total revenue.
United Airlines also reported Q1 2021 ending available liquidity of $21 billion.
“The United team has now spent a year facing down the most disruptive crisis our industry has ever faced and because of their skill and dedication to our customers, we’re poised to emerge from this pandemic with a future that is brighter than ever,” Kirby said in the announcement.
The Q1 2021 earnings report comes as United Airlines reported in January that Q4 2020 operating revenue was down 69 percent from Q4 2019 as the pandemic kept challenging the aviation sector. The airline had closed out 2020 with $19.7 billion in available liquidity.
At the time, management said that United had raised over $26 billion in liquidity and had made “important progress” in lessening its cash burn “to ensure the company’s survival” since the beginning of the pandemic.
In April, a report surfaced that United Airlines intends to hire hundreds of pilots in the near future. The Illinois-based airline was reportedly the first big U.S. carrier to announce it will begin hiring pilots again.
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