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United Airlines Expects to Be Cash-Flow Positive in March

United Airlines stock jumped Monday after the Chicago carrier said it expected core cash flow to be positive in March.
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Shares of United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings Inc. Report jumped Monday after the Chicago carrier said it expected core cash flow to be positive in March.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the carrier said customer demand for travel and new bookings had improved from estimates made in recent weeks. 

United also expects core cash burn for the first quarter to be more favorable than it was in the fourth quarter. That's due to the speedup in forward bookings. If trends continue, United expects core cash flow to be positive moving forward. 

At last check United shares were 6.8% higher at $60.13. They have touched a 52-week high $61.69, up 9.6%, on Monday. 

In January, United said average core cash burn in the fourth quarter was $19 million a day. 

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United is the first U.S. airline to forecast positive cash flow since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns took hold a year ago. 

More than 1.3 million passengers were screened in U.S. airports on Friday and Sunday, according to the Transportation Security Administration. That's the highest number since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

At the same time, the TSA used to screen more than 2 million passengers daily and more than 750 million annually at U.S. airports. 

Meanwhile, on Monday Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines Inc. Report participated in a J.P. Morgan industry conference. 

At the conference, Reuters reported, Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said he saw "real glimmers of hope" and the airline is "cautiously optimistic" that it could halt its cash burn this spring. 

Delta Air has said it expects first-quarter revenue to decline at the low end of its 60% to 65% forecast.