Ouch, this hurts.
UAL Corp. – parent of United Airlines – has posted an unbelievable $17 BILLION loss in fourth quarter 2005, blaming reorganization expenses and skyrocketing fuel prices. The No. 2 U.S. airline, which is set to emerge from bankruptcy next month, said the $145 per share net loss compared with a loss of $741 million, or $6 per share a year earlier.
One consultant quoted in this Rueters/Yahoo article says a $17 billion loss "is meaningless because it involves all sorts of accounting issues." The suits at United are claiming likewise, that this mega-loss does not truly represent the financial health of their airline:
Excluding the charge, UAL said its operating loss was $182 million compared with $570 million in the same quarter last year. Total revenue for UAL increased by 10 percent, to $4.4 billion.Hey, look, the suits can spin this any way they choose, but someone lost $17B, that we do know.
What is it going to take for someone to grow the balls needed to confront Big Oil about price fixing? Will it take Jet A climbing to $12 a gallon? Will ALL the airlines have to go the way of Pan Am?
I hope our leaders can remember that while they have sold our country's very soul to China and Wal•Mart, commercial airline service is one thing that cannot be outsourced.
UPDATE FRI 27 JAN: I wonder if this has anything to do with the $17B loss over at UAL:
Chevron Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit climbed 20 percent to $4.14 billion, a company record that continued the most prosperous stretch in the oil company's 126-year history as it capitalizes on high fuel prices that are squeezing consumers and ruffling politicians. Its profit of $14.1 billion for the full year was also a company record.Gee, ya' think?