United Airlines posts wider-than-expected loss in pandemic slump, cuts cash burn

A United Airlines airplane takes off at San Francisco International Airport.

United Airlines on Wednesday posted a wider-than-expected third quarter loss as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer air travel demand, but the carrier trimmed its cash burn.

Here's how United performed compared with what Wall Street expected, based on average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

Airlines have struggled during the pandemic, particularly large carriers like United, Delta and American , which were heavily reliant on international and business areas, two of the hardest-hit segments.

United early this month started furloughing some 13,000 employees after the terms of federal payroll support expired.

While many potential customers stayed home during the summer, United's cargo business was a bright spot, with revenue growing 50% to $422 million, highlighting how certain corners of the airline are becoming more important in the pandemic.

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