United Airlines Achieves $21M Target Average Daily Cash Burn Amid Pandemic

United Airlines Achieves $21M Target Average Daily Cash Burn Amid Pandemic

United Airlines reported Thursday (Oct. 15) that it achieved a $21 million target average daily cash burn as well as $4 million of average debt principal and severance payments daily in the third quarter.

The news comes during a tough quarter for airlines reeling from the pandemic: Delta Air Lines this week reported that its daily cash burn averaged $24 million for the quarter ending in September.

For its part, United Airlines reported that it cut overall operating costs by 59 percent compared to Q3 2019 amid the pandemic.

“We have $19 billion of available liquidity and enough runway to make sure that, when the recovery begins, United is in a position of strength,” United Airlines President Brett Hart said in an earnings call with analysts.

United Airlines reported that passenger revenue had fallen 84 percent year over year, while total operating revenues had decreased 78 percent year over year.

However, the company said it grew cargo revenue by 50 percent by harnessing international flying and implementing “strategic international cargo-only missions.”

United Airlines announced plans to fly approximately 40 percent of its complete schedule in October 2020 in contrast to October 2019.

Fee Changes and Safety Amid the Pandemic

United Airlines said it was the first among “U.S. global airlines” to permanently end change fees on standard economy and premium cabin tickets for domestic travel.

It claims to be the first U.S. air carrier to announce the roll out of a “COVID-19 pilot testing program” for travelers on the airline from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii.

United also said it’s the only airline optimizing ventilation infrastructure by operating the auxiliary power on mainline airliners throughout the complete boarding and deplaning process.

As a result, United Airlines said its “customers and crew get the important safety benefits provided by high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems.”

Hart also noted in the call that “United continues to use electrostatic sprayers before nearly every single flight to ensure the aircraft is clean and safe.”

As for its overall results, United Airlines reported a non-GAAP adjusted diluted loss per share of $8.16 on revenue of $2.49 billion. The results fell short of analyst expectations of a loss per share of $7.53 on revenue of $2.5 billion.



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