Apr 18, 2017: United Airlines (UAL) has announced its first-quarter result for 2017. In the cargo segment, it grew by 13.4 percent in revenue terms. And in volume terms, the recorded growth was 20.3 percent. The reported cargo revenue in March 2017 was $220 million as against $194 million in 2016 March. In volume terms, it was 748 cargo tonne miles (millions) in March 2017 against 622 cargo tonne miles (millions) in 2016 March.
UAL reported first-quarter net income of $96 million, the diluted earnings per share of $0.31, with pre-tax earnings of $145 million and pre-tax margin of 1.7 percent. Excluding special items, UAL reported first-quarter net income of $129 million, diluted earnings per share of $0.41, pre-tax earnings of $196 million and pre-tax margin of 2.3 percent.
The airlines did grab the headlines in April for all wrong reasons, in the first reported event a passenger who has physically dragged off a plane as the airline had overbooked. The incident had sparked outrage from all corners after a video of the incident surfaced online. The video showed that the officers yanked the passenger from his seat on United Flight 3411 before it departed from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.
In less than a week, another incident reported from the same airline of mishandling passengers. An engaged couple were removed from a United Airlines flight to Costa Rica. According to the couple, who said they were en route to get married, a federal marshal had escorted them from the plane before take-off from Houston, Texas, but United denied this, saying in a statement that neither a marshal nor other authorities were involved.
However, Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines, appeared to be apologetic of the incidents and during the financial results announcement said, "In the first quarter of 2017, our financial and operational performance gives us a lot of confidence about the foundation we are building. It is evident from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers. The incident that took place aboard flight 3411 has been a humbling experience, and I take full responsibility. This will prove to be a watershed moment for our company, and we are more determined than ever to put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are dedicated to setting the standard for customer service among US airlines, as we elevate the experience our customers have with us from booking to baggage claim."