United post full-year 2020 net loss of US$7.1 billion

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, United has raised over US$26 billion in liquidity and made important progress in reducing core cash burn to ensure the company’s survival. Over the last three quarters, the company has identified US$1.4 billion of annual cost savings and has a path to achieve at least US$2.0 billion in structural reductions moving forward. United ended 2020 with US$19.7 billion in available liquidity, including an undrawn revolver capacity and funds available under the CARES Act loan program from the U.S. Treasury.

Having stabilized its financial foundation, the company expects 2021 to be a transition year that’s focused on preparing for a recovery. United has resumed heavy maintenance and engine overhauls, investments that are essential to recovery when demand returns. The combination of structural cost reduction and timely investments will help set up United to exceed its 2019 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin in 2023. The company expressed high confidence that it would achieve this target by 2023 – and said its ongoing recovery planning would help ensure the company was equipped to reach this level even sooner, if demand returns more quickly.

United reported fourth-quarter net loss of US$1.9 billion, US$7.1 billion for the full-year 2020, and fourth quarter adjusted net loss of US$2.1 billion, US$7.7 billion for the full-year 2020. The airline reported fourth-quarter total operating revenue of US$3.4 billion, down 69% versus fourth-quarter 2019. Fourth-quarter operating expenses was down 45% versus fourth-quarter 2019, down 42% excluding special charges.

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