United Continental Holdings, the parent company of Chicago-headquartered United Airlines, has announced a new $3bn share buyback program – approximately 17% of the company’s current market capitalisation.
"We continue to invest in our employees, our customer experience and the growth of our business,” said Andrew Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of United Airlines. “Returning cash to our shareholders reflects the strength of our balance sheet and the confidence we have in our future.”
The new repurchase program will follow directly on from the company’s most recent $2bn share purchase authorisation that is set to complete this month.
The airline currently operates approximately 4,500 flights a day from 337 different airports across five continents. This network saw 143mn customers served across 1.6mn flights last year, using United’s 751 mainline aircraft and the airline’s United Express fleet of 489 regional aircraft.
So far, this year, United’s share price has dropped up to 12%.