United Airlines has published its second quarter financial results, along with an upbeat forecast of profitability in the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

The carrier posted a net loss of $434 million for Q2 (ending June 30, 2021) – its sixth consecutive quarterly loss – but said that its performance over the period “largely exceeded original expectations as international long haul and business travel accelerated even faster than anticipated, together with continued yield improvement.

As a result United is now projecting “positive adjusted pre-tax income” for the second half of the year, and looking further the airline said that it expects “continued gains as more businesses return by end of summer and into 2022, with a full recovery in demand anticipated by 2023”.

Capacity for the second quarter was down 46 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, but this is expect to improve to be down around 26 per cent in the third quarter.

United said that its route network had undergone a “reimagining”, with seven new domestic routes and three new international routes announced in the last quarter, including flights to Croatia, Greece and Iceland this summer.

United to launch flights to Croatia, Greece and Iceland

Commenting on the news United’s CEO Scott Kirby, said:

“Thanks to the professionalism and perseverance of the United employees who have worked so hard to take care of our customers through the pandemic, our airline has reached a meaningful turning point: we’re expecting to be back to making a profit once again.

“As we emerge from the most disruptive crisis our company has faced, we’re now focused squarely on our United Next strategy that will transform our customers’ onboard experience and help fulfill United’s incredible potential.”