United Airlines Cuts Capacity and Revenue Estimates

United Air now expects its third-quarter scheduled capacity to drop about 70% from a year earlier, a sharper drop than it had forecast.
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United Airlines  (UAL) - Get Report shares fell on Wednesday after the big legacy carrier said its third-quarter scheduled capacity would drop about 70%, compared with its previous guidance of a 65% drop.

The airline, along with the entire travel industry, has been hammered by the coronavirus, which has kept travelers at home. 

United Airlines shares at last check traded at $36.72, down 1.5%. They'd fallen 58% year to date through Tuesday.

The Chicago company now expects third-quarter passenger revenue to fall about 85% from the year-earlier period, United Air said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. That compares with its previous guidance of an 83% decline.

In the two weeks ended Sept. 7, United said, the carrier saw "moderate improvement in bookings for leisure travel” for domestic routes and some short-haul destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

But it doesn’t “expect the recovery from covid-19 to follow a linear path,” United said. “As such, the company’s actual flown capacity may differ materially from its currently scheduled capacity.”

The company “expects demand to remain suppressed and plateau at levels of around 50%, relative to 2019 levels, until a widely accepted treatment and/or vaccine for Covid-19 is widely available,” it said.

United Airlines continues to expect to burn an average $25 million of cash daily during the third quarter.

The airline said last week that it was cutting 16,370 jobs when U.S. government aid runs out Oct. 1. It warned last month that 36,000 jobs were at risk once that assistance expired.