United Airlines 1Q profit hits record $508 million; airline will speed up changes to fleet

Lower fuel prices are helping United Airlines earn record profits despite a dip in revenue.

But the airline is predicting a key revenue figure will fall in the second quarter. And it's speeding up changes to its fleet, including retiring more small planes.

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United Continental Holdings Inc. said Thursday that first-quarter net income was a record $508 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $609 million.

Excluding items, United says it earned $1.52 per share. Analysts expected $1.44, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 1 percent but spending on fuel fell 36 percent — more than $1 billion.

United says a key revenue figure will fall by 4 to 6 percent in the second quarter due to the strong U.S. dollar, lower fuel surcharges and less travel by energy-company employees.