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United Reveals Over 80 Percent of MileagePlus Flyers Vaccinated in Q2 Report

Boeing 737, United Airlines

Even though United Airlines reported a net loss in the second quarter of 2021, the airline hopes this will be their last down report. With performance “largely exceeding original expectations,” the carrier believes they will be profitable by the end of September.

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic start winding down, United Airlines is telling investors this could be their final report posting a loss. The Chicago-based carrier released their 2021 second quarter results on July 21, 2021, with an adjusted net loss of $1.3 billion on total operating revenue of $5.5 billion.

84 Percent of MileagePlus Members Vaccinated, Driving Airline Recovery

Even though capacity was down by 46 percent compared to the same quarter in 2019, the sharp increase for consumer aviation is driving United’s continued income spike. Total revenue per available seat mile was only down 11.3 percent compared to 2019’s second quarter, leading the airline to a total operating revenue of $5.5 billion.

Possibly more important is the number of flyers who have been vaccinated against the novel Coronavirus. During the quarterly investor call, the airline revealed 84 percent of MileagePlus members are fully vaccinated, leading the carrier to hold optimism for the upcoming quarter. The airline may be drawing the numbers from a promotion offering prizes for those who upload their vaccination certificate.

Moreover, MileagePlus members are primarily responsible for the boost in bookings. Even though business travel is lagging behind leisure demand, the carrier is offering their elites incentives and access to premium seats to woo them back to the airline. As it stands today, leaders of the airline say MileagePlus members on flights is only behind by “seven or eight points” from historic norms.

“Premier members of the MileagePlus program are rapidly returning to flying on United, a great sign for 2022 business demand,” said Andrew Nocella, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of United, as quoted in a Seeking Alpha Transcript. “Year-to-date, three quarters of our top premier members have already flown with us or have booked a flight.”

Looking forward to the remainder of the year, United says they expect to both quarters to be profitable. However, the airline still faces certain barriers – including the opening of long-haul international routes to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. United’s leadership believes the Asia marketplace will not fully recover until 2023, leaving key destinations including China and India covered by other Star Alliance members.

Delta Reports Mixed Results, While American Next to Report Numbers

United is the second of the three legacy carriers to report their 2021 second quarter results. Delta Air Lines reported a GAAP pre-tax income of $776 million and an adjusted pre-tax loss of $881 million, while American Airlines will report their results on July 22, 2021.

edvasquez July 25, 2021

Assuming all those people are telling the truth, that means one person in every row of six seats is unvaccinated. And on their 737 or A320, 16 people flying in Economy are unvaccinated. Again, that assumes they are telling the truth as UA does not mandate vaccination proof to fly. Nor do they have the personnel to monitor 100% correct mask wearing so if you not vaccinated then most likely you are not going to comply with 100% mask wearing while on the plane. It will be under the nose, made of cloth, or just completely off. Why won't UA mandate proof of vaccination? Money. Profits over people. We bail them out after they take record profits and then they refuse to keep us safe. What a good corporate citizen.