United Airlines reported “strong evidence” of pent-up demand for air travel and was positioned to take advantage of a recovery in business and international flights.
The carrier on Monday said it is “already moving” to capitalise on the emergence of demand from countries where vaccinated travellers are welcome, and pointed to newly announced international flights to Greece, Iceland and Croatia, which are subject to government approval.
In a statement accompanying the release of first-quarter earnings, the company said these “opportunistic steps” were helping position it “to return to positive net income even if business and long-haul international demand only returns to about 35 per cent of 2019 levels”.
Scott Kirby, chief executive, said: “We’ve shifted our focus to the next milestone on the horizon and now see a clear path to profitability. We’re encouraged by the strong evidence of pent-up demand for air travel and our continued ability to nimbly match it.”
United reported a 60 per cent drop in total revenue to $3.22bn in the first three months of 2021,…