Since United and Continental merged in 2010, the carrier struggled to integrate the two divergent cultures and workforces. As a result, it’s lagging its three major rivals in customer service and profitability. Add to the crosswinds management and board upheaval. Late last year, a scandal forced the resignation of CEO Jeff Smisek, who was replaced by former railroad executive Oscar Munoz. After a month on the job, Munoz suffered a massive heart attack, and returned in February to face a proxy battle from disgruntled hedge funds. In April, Munoz forged a compromise, agreeing to serve under a new chairman from outside the board, Robert Milton, former CEO of Air Canada. On the plus side, the sharp drop in fuel costs, and improved on-time performance, swelled its earnings from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $5.2 billion last year. But income slumped in the first quarter because of widespread pressure on prices—pressure that’s likely to persist. Frontier and Alaska Airlines, for example, are adding seats, and luring customers with discount fares, at United’s hubs in Denver and San Francisco.
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The fleet will be replaced with more fuel- and cost-efficient aircraft, the company says.
The flight reached an altitude of 27,000 feet.
Ahead of an even bigger decline expected in 2017
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United, Delta, and American Airlines announced they will no longer ship hunters' big-game trophies from Africa.