United Airlines president Scott Kirby says it is "too early" to determine what impact the recent furore over the forced removal of a passenger from a flight has had on bookings.

Corporate bookings are within a tenth of a percent of expectations since the incident on 9 April, he says during a quarterly earnings call today. However, he notes that bookings are historically low during the week before Easter.

"It's only been a few days, it's too early to say anything," says Kirby.

Kirby's comments were in response to questions over changes in both corporate bookings and those from China, where there has been a strong outcry to a viral video of the removal of David Dao from a United Express flight.

Chicago Department of Aviation security personnel forcibly removed Dao from his seat on United Express flight 3411 operated by Republic Airlines after he refused to leave the aircraft for a must-ride crew member. Dao suffered a concussion, broken nose and lost two teeth in the incident, his lawyer has said.

"The incident on flight 3411 has been a humbling learning experience," says Oscar Munoz, chairman and chief executive of United, during the call today. He again apologised for it and accepted responsibility.

The airline has faced a public backlash following the incident, which was compounded by a slow response from management, particularly from Munoz.

United is taking a number of steps to prevent a repeat and learn from the incident. It has launched a review of its overbooking and related policies, the results of which are due by 30 April, says Munoz.

In addition, it has stopped using security personnel to remove passengers from aircraft except for security or safety, and required all must-ride crews to be booked on flights at least 60min before scheduled departure.

United is not considering firing any employees over the incident, says Munoz today.

The carrier's board of directors gave their support to Munoz in a message posted for employees on 14 April.

Source: Cirium Dashboard