UAL Posts Wider Loss in 2Q on Charges

CHICAGO (AP) -- UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, on Thursday reported a sharply wider loss as the company recorded charges for turning over pension plans to the U.S. government and continued to feel the effects of higher fuel costs.

The company, which has filed for bankruptcy protection, posted a second-quarter loss of $1.43 billion, or $12.33 per share, from a loss of $247 million, or 2.25 per share, in the year-earlier period. Operating earnings, which exclude certain reorganization charges, rose to $48 million from $7 million a year ago.

Total revenue grew 5.6 percent to $4.42 billion from $4.19 billion in the year-ago period. Fuel expenses were $262 million higher than a year ago and dragged down results, UAL said.

Glenn Tilton, United chairman, president and chief executive, said the company posted ''industry-competitive revenue performance ... although the harsh economic environment, including very high fuel costs, presents difficult challenges for the industry.''

The airline has asked a federal bankruptcy judge to schedule a September hearing on its reorganization plan. The company has said it hopes to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy sometime this fall.

Over-the-counter shares of UAL rose 5 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $1.45.