Pacific Disappoints As United Reports Traffic

July 11, 2017

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United Airlines on Tuesday released its operational performance results for June and the first half of the year.

During the month, United flew 13.56 million passengers, a 4.6 percent increase from June 2016. For the first half of 2017, 71.35 million passengers used United, a 4.2 percent lift on 1H16.

Passenger traffic in revenue passenger miles (RPM) also rose in June, up by 3.4 percent. Of that result, mainline domestic traffic showed a strong gain of 9.5 percent. In contrast, international traffic grew by only 0.2 percent.

United added capacity during the month, up 5 percent in ASM (available seat miles) terms. The resulting passenger load factor fell as a result, down 1.4 percentage points to 85.7 percent.

For the six months to end June, United added 3.5 percent ASM capacity, with a resulting traffic increase of 3.3 percent. Load factor eased back by 0.1 of a percentage point to 81.7 percent.

United president Scott Kirby said the airline finished the second quarter "as the best airline operation among major competitors – all while carrying more customers on our flights than ever before."

All regions, with the exception of the Pacific, performed in-line with or slightly better than the airline's initial expectations. The Pacific region experienced incremental weakness in the second quarter "due to unfavourable supply and demand dynamics in China and Hong Kong."

The company now expects second-quarter 2017 consolidated passenger unit revenue to be up by approximately 2.0 percent compared to the second quarter of 2016.