JetBlue Airways Corporation reports first quarter net income of $137 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) issued its first quarter financial report today:

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JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the first quarter 2015:

Operating income of $253 million in the first quarter. This compares to operating income of $41 million in the first quarter of 2014

Pre-tax income of $222 million in the first quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $6 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Net income of $137 million, or $0.40 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s first quarter 2014 net income of $4 million, or $0.01 per diluted share.
Financial Performance

JetBlue reported record first quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the first quarter increased 11.1% to 9.6 billion on a capacity increase of 9.6%, resulting in a first quarter load factor of 84.3%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the first quarter was 14.64 cents, up 3.1% compared to the first quarter of 2014. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the first quarter 2015 increased 4.5% year over year to 12.33 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 3.0% year over year to 13.34 cents.

Operating expenses for the quarter decreased 2.9%, or $38 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.9%, or $3 million, as JetBlue continues to reduce its debt. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the first quarter decreased 11.3% year over year to 11.13 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, first quarter CASM1decreased 1.9% to 7.95 cents.

Operational Performance

Despite a series of winter storms, which created operational challenges, system on time departures, or D0, improved 1.8 points year-over-year in the first quarter. System arrival performance, or A14, also improved 1.4 points.

“We posted strong first quarter results based on healthy demand across our network and a continued focus on cost control. Our 16,500 crewmembers delivered great customer service despite the challenges presented by winter storms. I’d like to thank all our Crewmembers for their hard work. They truly inspired humanity during this busy winter period.” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President and CEO.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

In the first quarter JetBlue had hedges in place for approximately 21% of its fuel consumption. This resulted in a realized fuel price of $2.06 per gallon, a 34% decrease versus first quarter 2014 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $35 million in losses on fuel hedges settling during the first quarter.

JetBlue has hedged approximately 20% of its second quarter 2015 projected fuel requirements using a combination of jet fuel swaps and collars. Based on the fuel curve as of April 20th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges and fuel taxes, of $2.11 in the second quarter. For the balance of the year beyond the second quarter, JetBlue has hedged approximately 14% of projected fuel consumption.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $1 billion in unrestricted cash and short term investments, or about 17% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, JetBlue maintains $600 million in undrawn lines of credit.

During the first quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $55 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue anticipates paying approximately $216 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations during the remainder of 2015 and plans to continue to opportunistically prepay other debt. JetBlue expects to pay approximately $43 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the second quarter of 2015.

“JetBlue had a strong first quarter despite challenging winter weather conditions.” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “As we look forward, we expect to implement the return accretive initiatives we outlined at Investor Day and improve the balance sheet while continuing to reinvest in our business.”

Second Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the second quarter of 2015, CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM for the full year 2015 is forecasted to grow between zero and two percent year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 5.5% and 7.5% in the second quarter 2015 and between 7.0% and 9.0% for the full year, in line with prior guidance.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N793JB (msn 4647) in the Barcode tail design lands at the focus city of Long Beach.

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Alaska Airlines continues to build up the SeaTac hub with new routes to Charleston, Nashville and Raleigh/Durham

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is growing again its SeaTac hub with new nonstop service from its Seattle/Tacoma hub to Charleston, South Carolina (connecting the two Boeing 787 assembly areas), Nashville, Tennessee and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina beginning in the fall of 2015.

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By this fall, Seattle’s largest airline will serve 83 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma with 290 peak daily flights—two-and-a half times that of Alaska’s nearest competitor.

Flights will be operated by fuel-efficient Next Generation 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N548AS (msn 30020) with special markings promoting the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah arrives at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

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Kenya Airways to retire its Boeing 777s this summer

Kenya Airways (Nairobi) is planning to phase out its Boeing 777s this summer as its new Boeing 787s will complete the take over all of its long-haul international routes.

According to Airline Route, the carrier is planning to retire its last Boeing 777-200 ER tentatively on May 18 on the Dubai – Nairobi route.

According to the same report, the airline is also planning to phase out its relatively new Boeing 777-300 ERs. The last flight is currently scheduled for September 26 on the London (Heathrow) – Nairobi route.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2U8 ER 5Y-KYZ (msn 36124) departs from London (Heathrow).

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American Airlines announces an Admirals Club makeover

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American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is upgrading its Admirals Clubs. The airline issued this statement and photos:

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American Airlines is beginning the most expansive lounge makeover in the airline’s history. The Admirals Club lounges at Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) and Sao Paulo International (GRU) airports, both closed for construction, will lead the way for the modern makeover.

“In the future, when our customers see an Admirals Club sign anywhere in the world, they’ll know they’ll find a reliable, modern space where they can charge their devices, grab a bite to eat, get caught up on work or unplug from the world around them,” says Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president – Global Marketing. “Our goal is to create spaces that are more in line with how people live and spend their time today.”

Over the next several years, lounges will receive a stylish, consistent look designed for today’s connected travelers.

Renovated clubs will be instantly recognizable to customers, with entryways featuring the American Airlines logo on sleek, white glass. Once inside, customers will be greeted by representatives who are stationed at modern check-in podiums, ready to assist with travel and upgrade needs. Lounge areas will receive a contemporary style overhaul with a mix of tan and gray tones and accents of rich red, along with lighting and other elements that blend in white oak wood and stainless steel.

To improve customers’ comfort as well as productivity, the redesigned clubs will feature a variety of custom-made furniture pieces – from communal tables to high-backed chairs outfitted with power outlets and USB ports, making it easier to charge personal devices and stay connected. Restrooms will also be given a modern treatment, with new countertops and tile throughout. A club’s individual location will be played up through artwork that represents the destination.

The renovation process will expand some clubs, such as the PHX Terminal A club, giving customers more space to relax and new seating options.

American will start construction on clubs in Miami, New York (JFK), Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles this year, with clubs in Chicago, London and other key cities entering the renovation phase in the coming years. Ultimately, the makeover will touch all of American’s lounges.

American is also upgrading its food and refreshments. Earlier this year, Admirals Club lounges rolled out an enhanced and healthy selection of complimentary offerings such as Greek yogurt, oatmeal, hearty soups and sweet and savory snacks. More food enhancements are coming this summer.

In December 2014, American announced an investment of more than $2 billion in the customer experience. These investments include more fully lie-flat seats; upgraded aircraft interiors; more international Wi-Fi; more in-flight entertainment options and charging power for customers in all cabins; and an improved airport experience with faster, more reliable kiosks and refreshed gate and ticketing areas. This is all in addition to American’s historic fleet renewal, during which it expects to take delivery of 75 new mainline aircraft in 2015.

All images by American Airlines.

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Wizz Air to fly to Iceland from Poland

Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced further growth of its route network from Poland. From July 3, 2015 Wizz Air will start operating a new service from Gdansk to Keflavik (near Reykjavik) in Iceland, with two weekly flights.

Wizz Air now offers a total of 116 Polish routes to 22 countries from seven Polish airports.

In other news, Wizz Air has announced twice-weekly service from Budapest to Tenerife, starting on October 30 with departures on Mondays on Fridays.

Wizz Air now flies from Budapest Airport with 41 routes to 21 countries.

Finally, Wizz Air announced a new Debrecen route to Bergamo (near Milan) which will start operating with two weekly flights on October 25.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HA-LYA (msn 6077) with Sharklets lands in London (Luton).

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Ryanair to launch three new winter routes from Copenhagen

Ryanair (Dublin) has announced more growth at its Copenhagen base with three new routes from October 2015 to Alicante, Budapest and Malaga, as part of Ryanair’s 2015 winter schedule. These three new routes will add to Ryanair’s nine Copenhagen routes already operated to Brussels, Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, London (Stansted), Madrid, Milan (Malpensa), Rome, Stockholm and Warsaw.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-DWW (msn 33629) arrives at Tenerife Sur.

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Transaero Airlines inaugurates a new route to Malta

Transaero Airlines (Moscow) yesterday (April 26) inaugurated its new route from Moscow (Domodedovo) to Malta. Transaero will operate the new route once a week with Boeing 737s.

Previously the airline issued this statement:

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Transaero Airline will launch, for the first time in its history, scheduled flights on the Moscow-Malta route on April 26, 2015.

Flights UN 385/386 will be operated on Sundays from Moscow Domodedovo airport according to the following schedule (local time):

Departure from Moscow at 14.25, arriving at Malta International Airport at 17.55. Departure from Malta at 18.45, arriving in Moscow at 23.45. Transaero will use Boeing 737 aircraft for these services.

Read the full story from the Times of Malta: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7Q8 EI-EUY (msn 29354) prepares to land in London (Heathrow).

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