United Airlines Reports Q3 Financial Results

United Airlines has reported quarterly pre-tax income of US$1.5 billion, a pre-tax margin of 10.3%, and diluted earnings per share of US$3.42.



October 20, 2023

DALLAS — On October 17, 2023, United Airlines (UA) reported third-quarter 2023 financial results. The company reported quarterly pre-tax income of US$1.5 billion, a pre-tax margin of 10.3%, and diluted earnings per share of US$3.42. On an adjusted basis, pre-tax income of US$1.6 billion, pre-tax margin of 10.8%, and diluted earnings per share of US$3.65.

Total third-quarter top-line revenue was up 12.5% year-over-year, a record revenue quarter and near the high end of guidance. United reported 9% revenue growth year-over-year, outpacing second-quarter results.

In the international space, profits were at record highs in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Revenue in the Atlantic region was up 15% versus the same quarter in 2022 and 70% versus the same quarter in 2019. Pacific revenue exceeded third-quarter 2019 levels, despite capacity remaining 24% below third-quarter 2019. Domestic revenues in the quarter were the second highest of all time, and the domestic system remains solidly profitable.

In a press release, UA reported that demand for premium products remained high, especially in the premium economy cabin, where revenue outpaced capacity growth. In total, revenue from premium products was up 20% year-over-year in the quarter and accounted for more than half of all passenger revenue. Basic Economy revenue for the quarter was up 50% year-over-year.

United reported that its Q3 MileagePlus® memberships were nearly double what they were in the same quarter a year ago.

N2352U - United Airlines - Boeing 777-300ER (B77W) - SFO KSFO. Photo: Rohan Ramalingam/Airways

Q3 Financial Result Highlights

  • Capacity up 15.7% compared to third-quarter 2022.
  • Total operating revenue of US$14.5 billion, up 12.5% compared to third-quarter 2022.
  • TRASM (Total Revenue Per Available Seat Mile), down 2.8% compared to third-quarter 2022.
  • CASM (Cost Per Available Seat Mile), down 3.6%, and CASM-ex, up 2.6%, compared to third-quarter 2022.
  • Pre-tax income of US$1.5 billion, with a pre-tax margin of 10.3%; adjusted pre-tax income of US$1.6 billion, with an adjusted pre-tax margin of 10.8%.
  • Net income of US$1.1 billion, adjusted net income of US$1.2 billion.
  • Diluted earnings per share of US$3.42, adjusted diluted earnings per share of US$3.65.
  • The average fuel price per gallon of US$2.95.
  • Trailing twelve months adjusted net debt to adjusted EBITDAR (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization, and Restructuring or Rent Costs) of 2.5x.

Other Key Q3 Highlights

  • United Pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), ratified a new four-year contract with the company.
  • Announced promotions of Michael Leskinen to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Josh Earnest to Executive Vice President of Communications and Advertising, and Terri Fariello to Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Global Public Policy.
  • Introduced a new United First® seat that includes a wireless charging station in every armrest and 13-inch seatback screens for domestic aircraft.
  • Opened two new United Club℠ locations in Denver, including the airline's largest club—a 35,000 sq. ft. club with a modern take on the United Club experience.
  • Announced the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund℠ increased its investment power to nearly $200 million and added eight new corporate partners, five months after its initial launch.
  • Launched the industry-leading United Military Pilot Program, giving full-time, active-duty U.S. military pilots access to conditional job offers as a First Officer with the airline.

Customer Experience

  • Became the first U.S. airline to add braille to aircraft interiors.
  • Onboarded new amenity kits for premium passengers in international, transcontinental, and Hawaii markets. In addition, introduced upgraded Saks Fifth Avenue bedding for United Polaris customers.
  • Was awarded the World's Best Airline App by the World Aviation Festival for the airline's industry-leading capabilities in making the day of travel easier.
  • Named Favorite International Airline for the fourth year in a row and Favorite Frequent-Flyer Program for our MileagePlus program for the sixth year in a row by Trazee Travel.
  • Partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, to create a brand-new Children's Travel Kit.


  • Set the company's record for the highest daily average of revenue passengers ever carried in a quarter at more than 482,000 passengers.
  • Achieved the most quarterly mainline (2,621) and widebody (324) daily departures in United's history.
  • United Express achieved 30 days of 100% completion—the highest number ever for any quarter in history.
  • Held the second-highest third-quarter seat factor in history behind third-quarter 2022.


  • Flew over 436 domestic markets on mainline aircraft this quarter – up from 367 in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Made significant growth in the Denver market, reaching the most mainline departures in over 20 years at 300 daily departures, a 10% year-over-year seat capacity growth for the quarter, and daily departure increases on over 20 routes year-over-year.
  • Announced a major international expansion to Asia, including the first nonstop service from the continental U.S. to Manila by a U.S. airline the introduction of daily flights from the continental U.S. to Hong Kong and Tokyo-Narita, and a second daily flight to Taipei.
  • Announced United's return to Beijing with daily nonstop service from San Francisco.

With U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers and is now the largest airline in the world as measured by available seat miles.

Featured image: United Airlines A321N N44501 at XFW-4. Photo Dirk Grothe/Airways