The parent of United Airlines lost $448 million in the first quarter as it dealt with higher fuel prices and hiccups in its integration with Continental Airlines.
United Continental Holdings Inc. said Thursday that the loss amounted to $1.36 per share — more than doubling its loss from the same period last year.
Not counting integration costs, it would have lost $286 million, or 87 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of $1.12 per share.
Revenue rose 4.9 percent to $8.6 billion, matching analysts' forecast.
The integration cost United about $134 million. The airline previously said revenue in February was hurt by a switch to a single computer system for forecasting demand. It ended up selling more seats at lower fares than it would have otherwise. Then, on March 3, it merged frequent flier programs as part of a switch to a single passenger-information system. That caused flight delays for several days. Customer frustration with upgrades and long waits to speak to United agents on the phone persisted for weeks.
To get ready for the switch, United ran fewer and less-full flights. Per-mile passenger revenue rose 5.5 percent, a smaller gain than other airlines have been reporting.
United said that having integrated computer systems should let it improve results for the rest of the year.
"This was a difficult quarter, but we made significant progress with our integration and we're now able to serve our customers as a single airline," said President and CEO Jeff Smisek.
United had other headwinds, too. The first quarter is often difficult for airlines because travel tends to be lighter. On Wednesday, Delta and US Airways reported that they would have lost money if not for one-time items. And fuel prices have been rising.
United's fuel bill rose almost 21 percent, or $557 million, over the same period last year. Airlines have been raising fares to offset that fuel price increase.
In the year-earlier quarter, United lost $213 million, or 65 cents per share, on revenue of $8.2 billion.
In morning trading, United Continental shares fell 13 cents to $22.84.