Highlights from United Airlines’ CEO, Scott Kirby, at J.P. Morgan 2024 Industrials Conference

March 13, 2024 | by


At the J.P. Morgan 2024 Industrials Conference, Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, delivered a compelling presentation that shed light on the company’s competitive position and the shifts unfolding within the aviation industry. A key theme highlighted was the industry’s shift to a higher level, driven by cost convergence and promising prospects for expanding margins. United Airlines has directed its efforts towards enhancing customer service, targeting premium clientele, and competing with domestic road warriors. Notably, the successful implementation of Basic Economy and improvements in domestic PRASM have resulted in a notable boost in margins. With a firm belief in the strength of its market segments, United Airlines is confidently positioned among the network carriers in this ever-evolving landscape of change.

Highlights from United Airlines’ CEO, Scott Kirby, at J.P. Morgan 2024 Industrials Conference

United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL) recently participated in the J.P. Morgan 2024 Industrials Conference, where CEO Scott Kirby gave a presentation highlighting the changes in the airline industry and United Airlines’ competitive position. Kirby’s insights shed light on the company’s strategies, achievements, and future prospects.

Cost convergence driving industry to a higher level

Kirby began his presentation by discussing how the airline industry has reached a higher level due to cost convergence. Over the years, United Airlines has made significant efforts to optimize its cost structure and streamline operations. These measures have not only increased the efficiency of the airline but have also allowed it to compete more effectively in the market.


By successfully implementing various cost-saving initiatives, United Airlines has been able to align its expenses more closely with industry benchmarks. This cost convergence has not only positively impacted the company’s financial performance but has also elevated the entire industry.

Margins expected to continue expanding

One of the key takeaways from Kirby’s presentation was the expectation of continued margin expansion. United Airlines has been consistently focused on improving its profitability, and this commitment is reflected in its financial results. Through disciplined cost management and revenue optimization, the company has been able to achieve margin growth.


Kirby highlighted that by leveraging the benefits of cost convergence and implementing strategic pricing strategies, United Airlines has successfully increased its margins. He emphasized that the company will continue to prioritize initiatives that drive profitability and enhance shareholder value.

Focus on improving customer service

Customer service is of paramount importance for any airline, and United Airlines is no exception. In his presentation, Kirby emphasized the airline’s strong focus on enhancing the customer experience. By investing in technology, employee training, and operational improvements, the company aims to provide superior service to its passengers.


United Airlines has implemented various customer-centric initiatives, such as personalized marketing campaigns, improved in-flight amenities, and streamlined boarding processes. The aim is to not only meet customers’ expectations but to exceed them, thereby building strong brand loyalty.

Targeting premium customers

To further strengthen its market position, United Airlines has strategically targeted premium customers. Kirby highlighted the importance of attracting high-value customers and providing them with differentiated services and offerings. By catering to the unique needs and preferences of this segment, the company aims to drive revenue growth and increase market share.


United Airlines has taken several steps to attract premium customers, such as introducing new premium cabin experiences, enhancing its loyalty program, and partnering with luxury brands. These initiatives have enabled the airline to position itself as a premium carrier of choice, appealing to discerning travelers seeking a high-quality travel experience.

Competing with domestic road warriors

The domestic road warrior segment presents a significant opportunity for United Airlines. These frequent business travelers often have specific travel needs and preferences. Kirby acknowledged the importance of catering to this segment and addressing their unique requirements in order to stay competitive.

Through initiatives such as dedicated lounges, priority boarding, and tailored services for frequent flyers, United Airlines aims to capture a larger share of the domestic road warrior market. By providing enhanced comfort, convenience, and flexibility, the airline aims to build lasting relationships with this valuable customer segment.

Successful implementation of Basic Economy

United Airlines has successfully implemented Basic Economy, a fare class that offers customers a lower-priced option while maintaining the essential features of air travel. Kirby highlighted the benefits of this offering, which has appealed to price-conscious customers without diluting the overall customer experience.

By effectively streamlining operations and optimizing revenue management, United Airlines has been able to generate incremental revenue through Basic Economy. This successful implementation reflects the company’s ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and cater to a diverse range of customer needs.

Improved domestic PRASM and margins

Kirby shared that United Airlines has made significant strides in improving its domestic PRASM (Passenger Revenue per Available Seat Mile) and margins. Through a combination of targeted revenue management strategies and operational enhancements, the airline has been able to drive higher unit revenues and improve profitability.

By effectively balancing pricing, capacity, and demand, United Airlines has been able to optimize its revenue generation. The improved domestic PRASM and margins underscore the success of the airline’s strategic initiatives and its ability to deliver consistent financial performance.

Confidence in United Airlines’ future

Kirby expressed his confidence in the future of United Airlines. The company’s ability to adapt to industry changes, focus on customer service, and drive profitability positioned it well for long-term success. The CEO emphasized the strong market position of United Airlines and the company’s potential to further expand its market share.

With a winning hand in its market segments, United Airlines is well-positioned within the network carriers. Kirby’s confidence in the company’s future prospects stemmed from its consistent execution, commitment to customer service, and strong financial performance. He reiterated that United Airlines remains committed to delivering sustainable growth and value to its stakeholders.

Well-positioned within network carriers

During his presentation, Kirby emphasized that United Airlines is well-positioned within the network carrier segment. The company’s robust network, comprehensive route network, and strategic partnerships have enabled it to effectively compete in the market.

United Airlines’ strong position within the network carrier segment offers several advantages. It allows the airline to attract a diverse customer base, collaborate with other airlines for interline and codeshare agreements, and drive operational synergies. These factors contribute to the overall competitiveness and long-term success of United Airlines.

Feeling good about current position and future prospects

In conclusion, Kirby expressed his optimism about United Airlines’ current position and future prospects. The company’s focus on cost convergence, margin expansion, customer service improvement, and targeted growth strategies has positioned it for success in an evolving industry.

United Airlines’ successful implementation of Basic Economy, improved domestic PRASM, and strong market position within network carriers reflect its ability to capitalize on opportunities and deliver strong financial performance. Kirby’s confidence in the company’s current position and future prospects underscores United Airlines’ commitment to sustainable growth and value creation for its stakeholders.



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