Quarterly loss for United Airlines parent

Quarterly loss for United Airlines parent

Bankrupt United Airlines parent UAL on Thursday posted a quarterly loss like other big airlines as high jet fuel prices pinched the bottom line.

United, which hopes to emerge from bankruptcy protection by summer, was the last of the major U.S. airlines to report first-quarter results.

The largest cargo carrier among passenger airlines joined rivals AMR, parent of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines in posting losses.

Including its restructuring costs and rejection of aircraft leases -- all part of its complicated Chapter 11 process -- UAL's $459 million net loss was the biggest of the top five carriers.

Since the September 11 attacks, all of the big US airlines have been losing money. None of the top five is expected to make money this year, particularly as jet fuel hovers at the current high levels.

UAL, which filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2002, said its net loss was USD$459 million, or $4.17 per basic share, including reorganization and special items. That compares with a year-ago net loss of USD$1.34 billion, or $14.16 per share. The average fuel price for the quarter was USD$1.07 per gallon.

UAL said revenue rose 17 percent to $3.73 billion, while total operating expenses fell 1.4 percent to $3.94 billion.

UAL also said it posted a small operating profit for March.