United Airlines Inc. late Tuesday released its third-quarter financial results, which showed steep declines in jet fuel prices and associated costs during the quarter.
United announced it spent some $3.342 billion on fuel in the third quarter, representing a drop of 11% from the $3.755 billion it spent during the same period in 2022. Over the first nine months ended Sept. 30, the company said its fuel expenses fell by 4.7% versus the same time frame last year.
United’s average fuel cost in the quarter was reported at $2.95/gal, which compares to $3.81/gal over the same time frame last year, a tumble of 22.6%. So far this year, United’s average fuel price is $2.97/gal, a decline of more than 19% from last year, when it averaged $3.67/gal.
As demand for air travel continues to recover following the Covid-19 pandemic, United said its total passengers flown was up by 14.4% over last year. During the first nine months of the year, the airline said its total number of passengers flown has soared by more than 16% compared to the year-ago period.
United also noted its revenue passenger miles were 14.6% higher in the third quarter versus last year. So far this year, the company’s RPMs are up by nearly 21% compared to 2022, another indication that demand for air travel continues to soar following the pandemic.
The company’s available seat miles also jumped by 15.7% in the third quarter over last year, and have risen by 18.5% over the first nine months this year, when compared to the same time in 2022.
All told, United reported a quarterly pre-tax income of $1.5 billion, a pre-tax margin of 10.3% and diluted earnings per share of $3.42. Total third-quarter top line revenue was up by 12.5% from 2022, a record revenue quarter for the company.
United added that it saw strength in close-in bookings in August and September, with both months well ahead of year-to-year demand.
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