United Continental anticipates that passenger unit revenue will increase by 0.5% to 1.5% during the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier.
The Chicago-based carrier expects that full year passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) will also increase by 1.7% to 1.9%, according to an investor update on 27 December.
Capacity is anticipated to fall by 4.2% in the quarter versus 2011 as a result of superstorm Sandy, which hit the New Jersey coast on 29 October. United says that the storm negatively impacted capacity by 1.5 percentage points.
The airline previously anticipated a 2.2% to 3.2% decrease in fourth quarter capacity.
Full year capacity is expected to fall by 1.5% compared to 2011. This is slightly higher than the 1% to 1.2% decrease that United reported in October.
Cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and special charges will increase by 5.5% to 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Sandy negatively impacted the metric by 1.5 percentage points as well.
United previously anticipated a 3.5% to 4.5% increase in unit costs excluding fuel and special charges during the period.
Full year CASM excluding fuel and special charges will increase by 3.2% to 3.6% versus 2011, which is up from an expected 2.7% to 2.9% increase in October.
United anticipates that it will pay an average of $3.28 per gallon for jet fuel during the fourth quarter and an average of $3.29 per gallon for the full year. It previously anticipated that it would pay $3.31 per gallon in the fourth quarter and $3.28 per gallon for the full year.
Net capital expenditure will be about $785 million during the fourth quarter and about $1.7 billion for the full year.
United took delivery of 10 Boeing 737-900ERs and 787-8s during the fourth quarter and 24 aircraft from the airframer during the full year, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.