United Continental Holdings (UAL) unites cities around the globe through its primary United Air Lines subsidiary. While United Air Lines is its main line, the company also has regional operations, which are operated under contract by United Express. Combined, the company handles an average of roughly 5,000 flights a day to more than 330 domestic and international destinations from hubs that include Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Like most airlines, the company sells the majority of its seat inventory through travel agencies and global distribution systems in addition to its main website.
UAL operates more than 1,230 aircraft, including aircraft operated by regional carriers on its behalf. It generates its revenues across four segments: passenger mainline (70% of total sales), passenger regional (17%), cargo (2%), and other (11%).
The company is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 193 countries worldwide and includes 27 member airlines.
Headquartered in Chicago, UAL operates across six continents from its hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airpor, Denver International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, A.B. Won Pat International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.
US and Canada collectively accounted for 58% of its total net sales in fiscal 2015. Other major markets include the Atlantic (19%) and Pacific (14%) regions in addition to Latin America (9%).
After revenues peaked at a record-setting $38.9 billion in 2014, UAL saw revenues decline 3% to $37.9 billion in 2015. Its passenger revenue for 2015 decreased due to a competitive domestic fare environment, unfavorable foreign currency results due to the strengthening of the US dollar, international surcharge declines, travel reductions from corporate customers in the energy sector, and increased industry capacity in certain regions.
Profits skyrocketed by nearly 550% from 2014 to 2015. This was due to a major decrease in aircraft fuel expenses and increased income tax benefits due to the release of the income tax valuation allowance. UAL's operating cash flow surged by 120% from $2.63 billion in 2014 to $5.99 billion in 2015.
UAL has ordered a number of fuel-efficient Airbus and Boeing aircraft to replace the older fleet. It has 50 Dreamliners scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2020. The 787, anticipated to be "a game changer" for the company and for the airline industry, will allow both United Air Lines and Continental to enter new long-haul markets and to replace older, less-efficient widebody aircraft.
In 2015 UAL took delivery of 23 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, 11 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, 11 Embraer E175 aircraft, and two used Boeing 737-700 aircraft.