United Continental posts a loss

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

CHICAGO and HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - United Continental, parent company of both airlines, lost $136 million in the first quarter, and blamed higher jet fuel and lower Japan traffic.

The company said Thursday its revenue rose almost 11 percent from the winter quarter last year but its jet fuel costs rose 26.5 percent, offsetting fare hikes.

CEO Jeff Smisek said the Japan calamity reduced passenger revenue by about $30 million.

"I especially want to thank my co-workers who conducted our Japan operations, overcoming tremendous personal hardship to help our customers and keep our operation safe and reliable after the tragic earthquake and tsunami," he said.

The quarter at a glance:

  • Revenue: $8.2 billion. Year before: $7.4 million.
  • Net loss: $136 million. Year before loss: $82 million.
  • Per share loss: 41 cents. Year before loss: 49 cents.

A day after American Airlines posted a $436 million first quarter loss and announced plans to reduce capacity by 1 percent, United Continental said it would reduce its own capacity 1 percent in May and another 4 percent in September.

United Airlines flies more seats to Hawaii than any other airline and has direct service from Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Osaka, while Continental Airlines has nonstops to Hawaii from Los Angeles, Houston, New York and Guam. The two carriers are in the process of integrating their operations.

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