United Continental posts 4th quarter loss as traffic falls
BY JOSHUA FREED Associated Press
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 4:26 AM
Travelers avoided United Airlines last year, leaving it with a fourth-quarter loss as it continues to pay for its stumbles in absorbing Continental.
United Continental Holdings Inc. on Thursday reported a $620 million loss for the quarter as passenger traffic dropped 3.2 percent.
The loss was driven by $408 million in spending on the integration for things such as training and repainting airplanes. Superstorm Sandy hurt profits by $85 million, too.
"We are absolutely not satisfied with the financial results we produced last year," said Jeff Smisek, the company's chairman, president, and CEO.
United, the world's biggest airline, said it will cut 600 administrative and management positions via voluntary buyouts and layoffs. Last month it cut four senior executives, out of a pool of about 50.
Many of the cuts are expected to happen in Chicago. That's where United is based and where it has one of its biggest hubs at O'Hare International Airport. The company employs about 84,000 people worldwide.
United's switch to a single passenger-information system last year caused problems with its website and frustrated some of its most lucrative customers when they couldn't get upgrades to first-class seats. Some of its customer service workers at airports struggled with new software on their computers, creating long lines.
Those problems drove potential customers away.
United wants to put those issues behind it and says the technology issues have been resolved.
Original Print Headline: United posts $620M loss for quarter