United Continental Holdings, parent of United Airlines, has posted a first-quarter net loss of $417 million, including $92 million of special charges, compared with a 2012 first-quarter net loss of$448 million.

Total revenue was $8.7 billion, an increase of 1.4%. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 0.7% to $7.6 billion.

First-quarter 2013 consolidated passenger revenue increased 0.7% year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 4.9%. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile increased 5.9%.

Consolidated unit costs increased 7.2 % year-over-year on a capacity reduction of 4.9%.

United chairman and CEO Jeff Smisek said it had been a difficult quarter financially, but that operational performance has significantly improved despite challenging weather conditions.

“We are encouraged by our unit revenue performance this quarter, and we are working hard to build on our overall revenue progress this year,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer.

First-quarter operating expenses increased 1.3% to $112 million.

“We are focused companywide on operating more efficiently. Moreover, we are building an infrastructure to achieve our return-on-invested-capital goals and generate long-term returns,” United EVP and CFO John Rainey said. “Our balance sheet is the healthiest it's been in years, and that benefits everyone—co-workers, customers and investors.”