How Did United Perform Operationally In February?

by Trefis Team
United Continental Holdings
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After reporting a solid fourth quarter due to strength in close-in yields during the holiday season and continued growth momentum in Latin America, United Continental (NYSE:UAL) announced positive developments in almost all of its key metrics for January 2017. However, February metrics have been disappointing. In February, the company saw its traffic decrease -0.8%, due to the drag in the international markets, mainly the Atlantic region. Similarly, the company saw a -0.4% decline in number of passengers boarded.

Talking about capacity, after growing 4.7% y-o-y in January, the company trimmed its capacity marginally at -0.4% to meet its first quarter guidance of capacity growth. This, in addition with a decline in passenger traffic, also pulled down the company’s load factor to 76.7%.

Going forward, the company expects the pressure on its passenger revenue average seat miles (PRASM) to subside. It continues to expect PRASM to come in at the earlier provided guidance of  -1.0% to +1.0% in the first quarter of 2017, mainly due to strong business and leisure demand.


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1) The purpose of these analyses is to help readers focus on a few important things. We hope such lean communication sparks thinking, and encourages readers to comment and ask questions on the comment section, or email

2) Figures mentioned are approximate values to help our readers remember the key concepts more intuitively. For precise figures, please refer to our complete analysis for United Continental

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