NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc <UAL.N> said on Tuesday passenger unit revenue rose 2.1 percent in the second quarter, but unit operating costs, excluding fuel, rose more than 3 percent as rising labor costs weighed on the industry.
The No. 3 U.S. airline by passenger traffic outperformed analysts' expectations on key financial metrics, posting an adjusted earnings per share of $2.75, versus analysts' consensus forecast of $2.67.
Excluding special charges, United posted net income of $846 million and a pretax margin of 13.2 percent.
The airline also performed better than expected on revenue, pulling in $10 billion, up 6.4 percent year over year, versus analysts' consensus of $9.97 billion.
United reported a 79 percent decline in the number of passengers involuntarily denied boarding in May and a 88 percent drop in June, following a public relations nightmare surrounding the removal of a paying passenger from a flight earlier this year.
The sharp decrease in removals came after the airline implemented measures to improve customer service following the April 9 incident.
(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Richard Chang)