CHICAGO — United Airlines reported Wednesday that it lost $1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2022 but said it expects to return to profitability in the current three-month period as post-pandemic travel ramps back up.

The Chicago-based airline posted revenue of $7.67 billion in the quarter that ended March 31. That was down 21% from the first quarter of 2019.

The airline is still running fewer flights than before the pandemic. But it said it had reopened all of its lounges, resumed 19 international routes and restarted services to six cities that haven’t been served since the pandemic began.

Shares in United Airlines Holdings Inc. jumped almost 8% in after-hours trading following the earnings report.

The number of miles flown by paying passengers fell 27% from a year earlier. However United is flying with roughly 73% of its available seats full. While not as high as the 81% of all seats before the pandemic, it is much better than it was in 2021 first quarter, when roughly half of all seats were filled with paying passengers.

The airline appeared optimistic that its pandemic-related losses were behind it. United said it expects to post a profit for the second quarter and for the full year 2022. This is despite United facing higher fuel costs this quarter, paying on average $2.88 for fuel, up 40% from a year earlier.

United’s quarterly loss amounted to $4.24 a share and compared to a loss of $1.36 billion, or $4.29 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting a loss of $4.22 a share in the latest quarter, according to FactSet.

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