NEW YORK, July 21 ― United Airlines reported a profitable second quarter yesterday as strong travel demand boosted revenues, but signalled plans to rein in plane capacity as carriers confront operational challenges and recession worries.

The big US carrier said revenues “improved at a rapid pace” during the quarter and that it expects full-year profitability in light of still-strong demand.

But United said it expects full-year capacity in 2022 to be 13 per cent below the 2019 level. It plans 2023 capacity growth of “no more than eight per cent” from the 2019 level.

Chief Executive Scott Kirby cited the chance of a global recession as one of three major question marks facing the industry as the company reported quarterly profits of US$329 million (RM1.46 billion) compared with a loss of US$434 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues were US$12.1 billion, more than twice that of the 2021 period and 6.2 per cent above the 2019 level.

“It's nice to return to profitability,” Kirby said. “But we must confront three risks that could grow over the next 6-18 months.

“Industry-wide operational challenges that limit the system's capacity, record fuel prices and the increasing possibility of a global recession are each real challenges that we are already addressing.”

Shares fell 6.8 per cent to US$38.84 in after-hours trading. ― AFP