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On Monday, United Airlines reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2017.
United beat analysts’ forecasts of $0.38 per share and $8.38 billion in operating revenue by posting adjusted earnings of $0.41 per share and $8.41 billion in revenue.
However, the Chicago-based airline opened its earnings call with Wall Street analysts and members of the media by apologizing to all of its customers, as well as David Dao, the man who was forcibly removed from a flight last week, for the debacle.
“The incident on board Flight 3411 has been a humbling learning experience for all of us here at United and for me in particular,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said. “You can and should expect more from us, and as CEO, I take full responsibility for making this right.”
United is engaged in a sweeping review of its policies with the aim of creating what Munoz calls a more “common-sense approach to doing things.”
The CEO took personal responsibility for the incident, which drew widespread condemnation, and said no employees would be fired as a result of it. Munoz confirmed that he would remain in his position amid public calls for his resignation.
Even though total revenue is up, United’s profits are down 69.3%, from $313 million in Q1 2016 to $96 million this year.
This dip in profits cannot be attributed to the fallout from Flight 3411 because it happened after the quarter ended. Instead, United’s lower profits are likely because of a 28.1% increase in fuel costs and a 6.9% increase in labor costs.
During Q1 2016, Brent crude oil fell below $30 per barrel, but it has since rebounded to roughly $55. Increased labor costs are a result of the airline’s richer union contracts negotiated by Munoz’s team in 2016.
The first quarter is generally the weakest of the year for airlines, and United expects performance to pick up during the second quarter.