United Airlines announced record second-quarter profits this week, reporting a $1.1 billion pre-tax profit for the three months to June.

US carrier United also reported it carried a record number of passengers in the three months, up 6% year on year to 43 million.

The airline’s operating revenue rose almost 6% in the quarter to $11.4 billion, producing a $1.47 billion operating profit, up almost 29% on the previous year.

United chief executive Oscar Munoz hailed “the outstanding and sustained efforts of 95,000 United team members”.

He said: “Top-tier results are now the expectation not the exception for United.”

The carrier previously reported a full-year pre-tax profit of $2.7 billion for 2018 and pre-tax profits of $3 billion in 2017.

US rivals have also been reporting record profits amid a sharp upturn in the US aviation sector.

American Airlines reported a pre-tax profit of $245 million for the three months to March after posting a full-year pre-tax profit of $1.9 billion for 2018.

Delta Air Lines’ profits for just the three months to June were also $1.9 billion, up 38% year on year. Its full-year pre-tax profits for 2018 were $5.1 billion.

United spent almost half the quarterly profit figure, $536 million, purchasing its own shares over the course of the three months.