Boeing 777 United Airlines (Photo: this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. opens in a new tab Copyright © 2022 United Airlines, Inc.)

United Airlines has just revealed its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2021. While the U.S. carrier says it met its key financial targets. The company reduced its losses to $1.96 billion after taxes from $7.1 billion in 2020. United, however, received more than 4 billion in federal aid last year. United carried 104.1 million passengers last year. Double the 2020 figure but still 36% below the 2019 figure (162.4 million).

Capacity lower than 2019

The company says that the short-term volatility of the market due to the omicron variant does not affect bookings for spring travel. At the same time, however, United Airlines now estimates that its annual capacity in 2022 will be lower than in 2019.

The company is starting 2022 with a reduced schedule. A strategy that reflects the impact of the omicron peak on demand. United announces that it will put on sale fewer seats in 2022 than in 2019, even if it intends to increase its capacity with the spring. In particular, it plans to put its Boeing 777s back into service. “While omicron will impact demand in the short term, we remain optimistic for the spring and excited for the summer and beyond,” noted Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines.

“We look forward to beginning to return the 777s to service this quarter and bringing the entire airline back to normal utilization. We will ramp up with demand this year. By investing in innovative technologies and executing our United Next transformation strategy, we will emerge as an aviation leader, more efficient than ever before and serving our customers better than ever,” he added on the earnings call.

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Nice confirmed and ramping up at London Heathrow

United says its capacity in the first quarter of 2022 will remain down 16% to 18% compared to the same period in 2019. At the same time, it expects revenues to be 20% to 25% lower compared to 2019. However, the company is not disclosing any figures for the full year.

The company had inaugurated flights to 14 international destinations in 2021 (including five new destinations). In 2022, it has confirmed service to five new destinations. In Europe, United will land in Nice

. It will serve the Côte d’Azur airport daily from Newark starting April 29. It will also launch a daily flight between Zurich and Chicago starting April 23.

As part of United’s unprecedented expansion on the U.S./U.K. route, the airline will offer 22 daily flights between London Hea

throw and 7 American cities. A program that includes seven daily flights between Newark International Airport and London Heathrow, scheduled this March.