United lays out 2014 goals in 'route map' to employees

Washington DC
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United Airlines plans to keep its unit cost growth under 2% in 2014, in an annual “route map” to employees.

Costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel, profit sharing and third party business items has been a thorn in the Chicago-based carrier’s side for the past two years. The metric rose 6.6% to 9.57 cents in 2013 after a 2.6% rise in 2012.

United is focused on cutting costs by an additional $2 billion by 2017, with much of the savings coming from improved productivity and fuel savings.

The airline anticipates 1% to 2% CASM excluding fuel, profit sharing and third party business items growth in 2014.

On the revenue side, United is targeting passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) growth of 115% of the industry average in 2014, according to the route map. This is a reverse from its lagging unit revenue performance during the past few years.

Other targets include a return on invested capital greater than 10% and less than 2% capacity growth.

United also plans to "substantially" complete wi-fi installation on its mainline fleet, rollout self-bag tag technology at two hubs and consolidate its operations in the new terminal B at Boston Logan International airport.