About United Airlines, Inc.
United Airlines Holdings (formerly United Continental Holdings) operates through its primary United Air Lines subsidiary. United Airlines is a leading passenger and cargo airline operating more than 4,800 flights a day to more than 350 airports. It serves destinations across five continents from US hubs in Newark, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and the US island of Guam. The airline, which also offers regional services via subsidiary United Express, operates a fleet of more than 1,300 aircraft. In addition, United is a member of the Star Alliance, a marketing and code-sharing group (the largest in the world) that includes several international airlines. In 2019, the company dropped "Continental" from its name, eliminating the reference to the 2010 merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
United Airlines reports its earnings in three segments: passenger revenue, cargo revenue, and other operating revenue. Passenger revenue generates more than 90% of sales and other operating revenue (includes loyalty program MileagePlus miles sales) about 5%. Cargo revenue accounts for less than 5% of total sales.
United's mainline operations are managed through a hub and spoke system, which allows for the addition of new destinations from numerous cities using a limited number of aircraft. Its regional operations connect the hubs and allow for flights to smaller cities. This service is conducted through regional carriers branded as United Express, some of which include Republic, Commuter Air, ExpressJet, GoJet, and Sky West.
United is a member of the Star Alliance airline network, which provides reciprocal earnings, sharing of frequent flyer miles, access to airport lounges, and code sharing of flight operations (flights marketed under another carrier's brand name). It also has joint business arrangements with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, and Avianca and Copa Airlines, which provide United the ability to integrate schedules and fares with those airlines.
The company runs a loyalty program, MileagePlus, which offers awards, benefits, and services to program members. MileagePlus members can earn travel rewards on United, United Express, and Star Alliance member airlines. It also offers a MileagePlus credit card through Chase Bank.
The company serves destinations across North America, as well as in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. United leases airport facilities, gates, hangar sites, terminal buildings and other facilities at destination airports. It has major terminal facility leases at its hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport, Chicago O'Hare, Denver International, Houston Bush, LAX (Los Angeles), SFO (San Francisco), Washington Dulles, and A.B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam.
Domestic flights (the US and Canada) generate more than 60% of United Airline's global revenue, Atlantic and Pacific routes each account for about 15%, and Latin America less than 10%.
Sales and Marketing
United Airlines fares are sold through its direct sales website—www.united.com, the company's mobile applications, and through traditional and online travel agencies.
Its advertising expenses are more than $200 million annually.
United's operating revenue has seen an upward climb in recent years. Sales in 2018 reached $41.3 billion, up 9% from $37.8 billion the previous year. Passenger revenue was up by $3.2 billion, primarily due to an increase in traffic. The company also saw an increase in cargo revenue resulting from higher freight volume and a higher yield in the Atlantic and Pacific markets. Other operating revenue increased with higher MileagePlus miles sales.
Net income remained relatively flat at $2.1 billion in 2018, decreasing slightly by $15 million compared with 2017. Higher fuel costs were the main factor for the decrease.
Cash at the end of fiscal 2018 was $1.8 billion, an increase of $208 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $6.2 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $4.6 billion, mainly for purchases of aircraft and aircraft improvements, facility and fleet-related costs, and purchases of information technology assets. Financing activities used another $1.2 billion for the company's stock repurchase program.
United Airlines set out a multi-year growth strategy in 2018 that focuses on key initiatives such as building out its three mid-continent hubs—Chicago, Denver, and Houston—as well as its coastal hubs and adding more flights to smaller cities where fares tend to be higher. It is also adding more than 30 regional aircraft to its operations.
In 2019, United will continue to improve its customers' experience with a series of new routes, enhancements to its United mobile app, and a new segmentation strategy—the addition of a new Premium Plus category of seating between coach and business class on international flights.
Growth at United Airlines is also benefiting from a cultural shift to a more agile and action-oriented approach to improving the customer and employee experience. Employees are encouraged to submit ideas for process and product innovations. Some ideas have been incorporated into the company's new reservation system called Gemini, that provides more accurate forecasting of customer demand, allowing for the sale of higher-margin fares closer to departure dates.
In 1929 aircraft designer Bill Boeing and engine designer Fred Rentschler of Pratt & Whitney joined forces to form United Aircraft and Transport. Renamed United Air Lines in 1931, the New York-based company offered one of the first coast-to-coast airline services. In 1934 United's manufacturing and transportation divisions split. Former banker Bill Patterson became president of the latter, United Air Lines, and moved it to the Chicago area. In 1969 UAL Corp. was formed as a holding company.
A subsidiary of UAL Corporation merged with and into Continental in October 2010, with Continental surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL. Upon closing of the merger, UAL became the parent company of both Continental and United Air Lines and UAL Corporation's name was changed to United Continental Holdings. The transaction created the world's largest airline. In 2013 United Air Lines, Inc. was merged into Continental to form one legal entity, and Continental's name and brand were changed to United Airlines, Inc. In 2019, the company changed its name to United Airlines Holdings, dropping all reference to Continental Airlines.
233 S WACKER DR
Chicago, IL 60606-6462
Phone: 1 (872) 825-4000
Employer Type: Privately Owned
Managing Director Sales: Kay Ikawa
Managing Director, Premium Services: Michael Landers
737 Fleet Technical Manager: David Nichols
Employees (This Location): 3,000
Employees (All Locations): 88,000
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