On Thursday, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines reported record profits for the first quarter, usually the weakest time of year for the airlines. That followed a rousing report from Delta Air Lines a day earlier.
Still stuck on the tarmac: United Airlines. While rivals were making money, United lost another $609 million during the first three months of the year.
The No. 2 airline company behind American, United Continental Holdings Inc. is struggling to make the 2010 merger of United and Continental work. As costs rise, United is taking in less per mile from passengers - it's not charging fares high enough to cover expenses.
"This quarter's financial performance is well below what we can and should achieve," conceded United Chairman and CEO Jeff Smisek. He said the airline is taking steps to fix its operations and service to boost financial results.