United Continental on Thursday posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as costs at the airline fell and it raised airfares.United said second-quarter revenue rose 0.6 percent to USD$10 billion, the highest ever for that period. The average airfare rose 3.5 percent to USD$289.46.United has been working to win back customers who turned to rivals after technology problems hurt customer service last year. The company made a number of changes to integrate as one carrier following the 2010 merger of United and Continental, including converting to a new computer reservation system.In a fast consolidating industry, analysts are looking out for signs that United has moved beyond its merger related issues to make progress in revenue and profits.Rival Delta has moved ahead after its merger with Northwest and said in May it plans to return USD$1 billion to shareholders over the next three years. American and US Airways are in line to merge pending government approval.United Continental's passenger revenue per available seat mile increased one percent.Net income was USD$469 million for the quarter, up from USD$339 million a year earlier.Operating costs fell 1 percent, with fuel expenses falling 10 percent. Source: Reuters
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