United Airlines CEO apologizes once again -- profits down 69%

On Tuesday, United Airlines reported their financial result for the first quarter of 2017.

United beat analyst forecasts of $US0.38 per share and $US8.38 billion operating revenue by posting adjusted earnings of $US0.41 per share and $US8.41 billion in revenue.

However, the Chicago-based airline opened its earnings call with Wall Street analysts and members of the media by apologizing to all of its customers as well as Dr. Dao for last week’s debacle.

“The incident on board Flight 3411 has been a humbling learning experience for all of us here at United and for me in particular,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said.

“You can and should expect more from us and as CEO I take full responsibility for making this right.”

United is currently engaged in a sweeping review of its policies to create what Munoz calls a more “common sense approach to doing things.”

In addition, Munoz confirmed that he will remain in his position amid calls from the public for his resignation.

Even though total revenue is up, United’s profits are down from $US313 million in Q1 of 2016 to $US96 million this year. That’s a fall of 69.3%.

It should be noted that this dip in profits can not be attributed to the fallout resulting from Flight 3411. Instead, United’s lower Q1 profits can be blamed on a 28.1% increase in fuel costs and a 6.9% increase in labour costs resulting from the airline’s richer union contracts negotiated by Munoz’s team in 2016.

The first quarter is generally the weakest quarter of the year for airlines and United expects performance to pick up during the second quarter of the year.

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