United cuts third-quarter capacity, revenue forecasts

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FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop

(Reuters) – United Airlines Holdings <UAL.O> on Wednesday forecast a bigger drop in third-quarter passenger revenue than its own expectations and said it would look to cancel more flights until it sees a recovery in air travel.

United said it now expects an 85% drop in passenger revenue, a closely watched performance measure in the airline industry, down from its previous estimate of 83% year-over-year.

The No.3 U.S. airline also expects third-quarter capacity to decrease about 70% year-over-year, compared with its prior forecast of 65%, despite seeing a moderate improvement in bookings for leisure travel in the United States and certain short-haul destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean in the two ended Sept. 7.

U.S. airlines have collectively been bleeding about $5 billion a month as 30% of the planes remain parked amidst the coronavirus pandemic that prompted passengers to cancel their flights and seek refunds rather than book new travel.

(Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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