Category Archives: JetBlue Airways

JetBlue announces the first Airbus A321neo route

JetBlue Airways today announced that delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A321neo (new engine option) aircraft is set for this spring with entry into service this summer. The A321neo will make it possible for JetBlue to operate a new, nonstop route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Guayaquil, Ecuador’s José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE). (a)

The new nonstop flight between the Northeast and South America will be made possible by the A321neo’s extended range and fuel efficiency. JetBlue’s growth in its existing Ecuador market advances the airline’s leadership position in Latin America and the Caribbean where it serves nearly 40 destinations.

New Flying Opportunities with Comfort and Connectivity

The A321neo – the newest aircraft type to join JetBlue’s growing fleet of more than 250 aircraft – boasts a 20% increase in fuel efficiency which results in an extended range of some 500 nautical miles. The extended flying capabilities of the A321neo opens up a host of new markets which JetBlue’s existing fleet could not serve with nonstop flights. Additionally, each JetBlue Airbus A321neo will be powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines, which produce a smaller noise footprint and lower operating costs when compared with today’s engines.

Inside the aircraft, JetBlue’s award-winning comfort and connectivity will be the focus of the onboard customer experience. The A321neo will feature the Collins Meridian seat — which is the widest seat available for the single aisle Airbus family of aircraft – with enhanced cushion comfort, adjustable headrests, power connections at every seat and the most legroom in coach (b). Inflight entertainment will be powered by Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system – featuring 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screens, more than 100 channels of live television with DVR-like pause and rewind functionality, picture-in-picture function and more – JetBlue will offer customers expanded entertainment choices in nearly every region the airline flies (c). JetBlue is the only major U.S. airline with seatback entertainment screens at every seat on every aircraft.

Expanding Service in Ecuador

JetBlue will launch new service between New York-JFK and Guayaquil starting December 5, 2019, pending government approval. Flights will operate daily and the new route will become the longest in the JetBlue network, stretching beyond today’s longest route by more than 200 nautical miles. Today, the existing New York-Guayaquil market suffers from high fares and limited connecting flight choices. JetBlue aims to bring affordable fares to the market while also offering the only nonstop service by a major U.S. airline between the two cities. JetBlue will announce details of when seats will go on sale soon.

Schedule between New York (JFK) and Guayaquil (GYE)
Beginning December 5, 2019

JFK – GYE Flight #1769 GYE – JFK Flight #1770
2:00 p.m. – 9:04 p.m. 10:55 p.m. – 5:13 a.m. (+1)

Home to more than two million people, Guayaquil is buzzing with colorful cityscapes, outdoor gardens and zoos. The city is also a convenient gateway to the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands. With quick and easy flight access from Guayaquil, travelers can get up close and personal with wildlife while surrounded by unique landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world.

JetBlue has already seen success in Ecuador. The airline first launched daily service between Fort Lauderdale and Quito in 2016 and will add a second daily seasonal flight on the route this summer. Existing service between Fort Lauderdale and Guayaquil launched February 2019.

(a) Subject to receipt of government operating authority.
(b) JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.
(c) Fly-Fi and live television are available on all JetBlue-operated flights. On ViaSat-2 equipped aircraft, Fly-Fi will not be available on portions of some routes, and live television will not be available while operating outside of the contiguous U.S., or until the aircraft returns to the coverage area. On all other aircraft Fly-Fi and live television will not be available while operating outside of the contiguous U.S., or until the aircraft returns to the coverage area.
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JetBlue announces it will fly to London, England

JetBlue Airways has announced it intends to launch multiple daily flights from New York and Boston to London in 2021 (a) – the carrier’s first European destination.

The new routes, which will be served by Airbus A321LR single-aisle aircraft with a reimagined version of Mint, will mark the first-ever transatlantic service offered by the award-winning airline. JetBlue is evaluating which London airports it will serve.

The airline continued;

Known in the U.S. for having the most legroom in coach, live television at every seat, free Fly-Fi broadband internet, complimentary snacks and soft drinks, and great customer service, JetBlue’s entrance into the transatlantic market will introduce a new era of customer-focused, low-fare travel for both leisure and business travelers. The airline’s Mint premium experience, which disrupted transcontinental travel in the U.S. with accessible fares and a thoughtful reinvention of the business class cabin, promises to offer transatlantic customers a fresh choice.

Growth into Europe is the next natural step in JetBlue’s focus city expansion strategy, with London being the largest destination not served by JetBlue from both New York and Boston. The new service will strengthen JetBlue’s relevance in its two largest focus cities while also answering calls from loyal business and leisure customers who have, until now, been forced to fly other carriers to and from London.

The highly anticipated announcement, which comes after an extensive internal review, was made April 10 in New York at a crewmember event at John F. Kennedy International Airport. More than 1,300 crewmembers filled the airline’s hangar to hear CEO Robin Hayes and President & COO Joanna Geraghty outline the historic move for the 19-year old airline. Hayes is set to deliver the keynote address April 11 at The Aviation Club of the U.K. in London in which he will discuss today’s announcement, as well as address competition concerns and airport access challenges in Europe.

Fresh Competition in European Flying Featuring Transatlantic Mint

“The big airlines will tell you that competition has never been more robust, but the smaller airlines have never found it harder to get access,” said Geraghty. “It’s time for regulators here in the U.S. and across Europe to create conditions where smaller carriers and new entrants can thrive, instead of letting the giant airlines get even bigger through joint ventures. Given a chance to compete, JetBlue can have a tremendous effect on lowering fares and stimulating traffic.”

Travelers flying across the North Atlantic between the northeast U.S. and London have long faced sky-high fares – particularly in premium cabins – or mediocre service in a market effectively controlled by legacy carriers and their massive joint ventures. Alternatively, a handful of low-cost carriers have attempted to enter with a no-frills, bare-bones approach to flying offering little in the way of complimentary amenities or the kind of service that JetBlue has become famous for in the Americas. Particularly in Europe, JetBlue will raise the bar on what travelers can expect from a low-cost carrier.

“It’s great news that JetBlue is expanding into London and we will be delighted to welcome leisure and business visitors from Boston and New York with these new routes,” said Laura Citron, CEO, London & Partners. “North America is already London’s largest overseas market but is growing significantly year on year, so extra connectivity and capacity to allow even more people to discover our city is very exciting news. We know that Americans visit London for its exciting history and creativity, from Shakespeare to the birth of punk and the catwalks of today. This creative energy and cultural vibrancy can be felt in every aspect of London life and we look forward to sharing it with more global visitors.”

JetBlue – which has been awarded again and again over the years for its commitment to onboard comfort, complimentary amenities and customer service – will bring an all-new choice to travelers with affordable fares combined with an onboard product and level of service that can’t be matched.

JetBlue is developing a reimagined, transatlantic version of its premium Mint product which will feature more lie-flat seats than currently offered on the airline’s existing A321 aircraft. Transatlantic Mint product features and design elements, combined with JetBlue’s specially trained Mint inflight crewmembers, will create an intimate and exclusive travel experience. And like its transcontinental Mint business model, JetBlue will offer the elevated flying experience for a fraction of what other airlines are charging today for premium seats.

“The success Mint has had on driving down the exorbitant airfares that our competitors were charging, stimulating new demand, and forcing the entrenched carriers to up their game, is a big reason we believe London is the next natural market for JetBlue to be successful and make a positive impact on consumers,” said Geraghty.

JetBlue is also creating a new long-haul version of its much-loved core experience. The airline’s customers in the Americas have long enjoyed spacious and comfortable seating, live television, high-speed Fly-Fi broadband internet, friendly service, and much more. JetBlue’s transatlantic core offering will be designed for customers who already know and love the JetBlue experience as the airline remains committed to being an industry leader in comfort and service.

JetBlue Converts Orders to A321LR

The A321LR will allow JetBlue to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with its current single-aisle aircraft. JetBlue will initially convert 13 aircraft in its existing A321 order book to the LR version with the ability to convert more.

This conversion does not impact JetBlue’s external financial commitments or represent incremental capital expenditures as the current order book remains the same. Furthermore, JetBlue remains committed to delivering earnings per share between $2.50 and $3.00 by 2020. This update to the fleet plan is part of JetBlue’s vision to continue improving its earnings per share beyond 2020.

Proven Track Record for International Flying

Today, JetBlue serves nearly two dozen countries. The airline has been flying internationally for nearly 15 years with a significant portion of its operations in the Caribbean and Latin America with flights reaching as far south as Ecuador and Peru. Unique to European expansion plans, JetBlue has created an internal team to begin the certification process for ETOPS, which permits extended operations for two engine aircraft over water.

Additional details about specific schedules, when seats will go on sale, as well as more information about transatlantic Mint, Core and much more will be announced in the coming months.

(a) Subject to receipt of government operating authority.

JetBlue introduces its new cabin experience

 

JetBlue Airways  today announced that its newest cabin experience has entered into service, bringing to the skies the widest seats available for this aircraft, custom-designed seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) with 100+ channels of DIRECTV and hundreds of free movies and shows, ability to pair your mobile device to the screen, easy-to-reach power sources at every seat, and expanded coverage of free Wi-Fi connectivity almost everywhere JetBlue flies.

JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft, which make up the majority of the airline’s fleet, are being updated for the first time since the airline disrupted the industry with onboard live television and all-leather seats in 2000.

The restyling effort has been several years in the making, with the latest aircraft marking the first to receive this all-new 2019 design. The aircraft, named “If You Can Read This, You’re Blue Close,” re-joins JetBlue’s fleet today, with roughly a third of JetBlue’s A320 aircraft scheduled for restyling completion by the end of the year.

For most of the airlines 100+ destinations the A320 restyling will bring the upgraded JetBlue experience to their city for the first time.

A major focus of the restyling is keeping customers connected throughout their flight, including a new inflight entertainment system, high-definition seatback televisions, in-seat power outlets with USB ports and continued free gate-to-gate Fly-Fi high-speed internet with an expanded coverage area – including throughout the Caribbean and Latin America where Fly-Fi had not been available until now.

The Widest Seat Available For the A320

In 2019, JetBlue will outfit its A320 aircraft with the Collins Meridian seat, customized for the airline’s needs and featuring a number of design elements with customer comfort in mind:

  • Expanded seat width of more than 18 inches, the widest available for the A320.
  • The most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (a).
  • Enhanced cushion comfort.
  • Adjustable headrests, a new feature for JetBlue’s A320.
  • Contoured seatback design at knee level creating additional living space for every customer.
  • Redesigned seatback stowage options, including an innovative elastic grid to accommodate a variety of customer items.
  • At least two easy-to-reach power connections at every seat.

IFE

Also in 2019, JetBlue will build on its reputation as an industry leader in inflight entertainment options with Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system, JetBlue will offer customers aboard its restyled A320s expanded entertainment choices in nearly every region the airline flies (b). JetBlue is the only major U.S. airline with seatback entertainment screens at every seat on every aircraft.

  • 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screen at every seat.
  • More than 100 channels of live television with DVR-like pause and rewind functionality.
  • Expanded collection of on demand movies, TV shows and video content, plus new gaming features.
  • Destination-specific content allowing customers to enhance their travel experience.
  • Picture-in-picture function
  • Enhanced, 3D flight map offering multiple ways to track time to destination.
  • Personal handheld device pairing capabilities for use as a remote or gaming controller.
  • Expanded Fly-Fi connectivity, providing coverage to nearly the entire JetBlue network.

Completing The 2018 Phase

The first phase of JetBlue’s A320 interior cabin restyle began in spring 2018 and modernized the airline’s so-called “classic interiors” with products that matched those found on the airline’s newer A321 aircraft – features such as more modern seats and larger seatback TVs. More than a dozen A320 aircraft have been restyled with these products so far and several more are scheduled for completion in the coming weeks. This spring the restyling will fully transition to the 2019 version of onboard products for all aircraft going forward.

All photos by jetBlue.

JetBlue starts Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – Guayaquil, Ecuador service

JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N623JB (msn 2504) (jetBlue Vacations) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104920.

JetBlue Airways today announced the start of new service in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with the first flight arriving in the South American city just before 11 p.m. local time last night and the first northbound leg of the route arriving in South Florida just after 5 a.m. today.

New service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Guayaquil’s José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) operates daily and brings JetBlue to a sixth destination in South America.

New service between Fort Lauderdale and Guayaquil will be operated on JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N623JB (msn 2504) (jetBlue Vacations) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104920.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:

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JetBlue adds more routes and flights from Boston Logan

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N969JT (msn 7353) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945820.

JetBlue Airways has announced the next phase of growth at Logan International Airport (BOS) as it advances toward its goal of 200 daily departures in the coming years.

Beginning this summer, JetBlue will add more flights on twelve popular routes while also expanding or adjusting schedules to offer hourly service to Washington, D.C. and the New York metro area. The move, which will benefit both leisure and business customers, is the latest in a series of growth announcements in Boston where JetBlue flies to more nonstop destinations, operates more flights and serves more travelers than any other airline.

 

More Flights to Top Destinations

JetBlue will phase in more flights over the summer and fall on twelve existing Logan routes stretching across the eastern half of the United States to/from:

With JetBlue’s low fares and award winning service on even more daily flights between Boston and these key markets, the airline advances its leadership position in New England and makes JetBlue’s Boston focus city even more accessible to travelers across the eastern half of the U.S.

Streamlined Schedules to Key Northeast Markets

JetBlue is also introducing enhanced schedules between Boston and two top northeast corridor business markets: Washington and New York City.

JetBlue is adding up to four additional daily flights between Logan and D.C.’s Reagan National Airport and will adjust its schedule to offer near-hourly weekday service – from 6 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. – between New England and the nation’s capital. The new service – with Boston flights departing at the top of the hour – is aimed at meeting the growing demand for travel between the two cities while also offering a customer-friendly, straight-forward departure schedule. Flights will be phased in beginning this summer with new flights on sale starting this weekend.

Similarly, JetBlue will also introduce near-hourly weekday service between Boston and the New York metro area with service between approximately 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Logan flights will depart at the bottom of the hour for one of the three major New York area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). As New York’s Hometown Airline®, JetBlue’s unique service pattern is designed to meet the needs of travelers flying between Boston and anywhere across the New York metro area, whether it be Manhattan, the outer boroughs, Long Island or northern New Jersey. The flight schedule between New York and Boston will be phased in beginning this summer with new flights on sale starting this weekend.

Boston by the Numbers and Beyond

JetBlue first started service in Boston in January 2004, with 30 crewmembers, just one gate and 4,500 flights in the first year. But with the ‘JetBlue effect’ in action, the innovative airline shook up New England with its low-fare approach, driving down prices and introducing new nonstop destinations for Logan travelers.

Today, JetBlue – with award-winning service featuring the most legroom in coach (a); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (b); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio at every seat – carries more customers than any other airline in Boston, operates nearly 55,000 annual departures at Logan and offers nonstop service to more than 70 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. Boston is also home to some 3,400 crewmembers.

Beyond the numbers, JetBlue has also helped bring new gates to Logan’s Terminal C, added the airline’s award-winning Mint premium service with lie-flat seating on a variety of routes, and introduced an array of unique destinations not served by any other airline – including recently launched flights to Havana, Cuba; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and Palm Springs, Calif.

Later this year, JetBlue will take delivery of new, fuel-efficient A321neo aircraft, bringing another wave of cabin and comfort improvements along with additional range capabilities. Then, starting in 2020, JetBlue will also steadily replace its Embraer E190 fleet with the larger and more fuel-efficient Airbus A220, providing more seats in the market at a lower operating cost, and an improved onboard experience.

JetBlue has also built a rich portfolio of agreements with other international airlines at Logan that help connect customers to global destinations. Travelers can connect to cities around the world on JetBlue partners such as Emirates, El Al, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

JetBlue’s commitment to Boston extends well beyond its presence at Logan. JetBlue is a proud sponsor of the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Marathon, TD Garden and the New England Patriots. The local JetBlue team has also contributed thousands of hours to support numerous community organizations in the greater Boston area.

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N969JT (msn 7353) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945820.

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JetBlue announces fourth quarter 2018 results

jetBlue's 2018 "jetBlue for Good" logo jet

JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the fourth quarter 2018:

  • Reported diluted earnings per share of $0.55 in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $2.03 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted diluted earnings per share was $0.50 in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus $0.32 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth quarter 2018 results benefited from solid non-fuel cost control and revenue performance through the quarter. Note A to this earnings release includes the GAAP to Non-GAAP reconciliation between reported and adjusted diluted earnings per share.
  • GAAP pre-tax income of $200 million. Excluding the one-time costs, adjusted pre-tax income of $204 million(1), an increase of 19.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Pre-tax margin of 10.2%, inclusive of the one-time costs. Adjusted pre-tax margin of 10.4%(1), a 0.7 point increase year over year.

Highlights from the Fourth Quarter 2018

  • Fourth quarter 2018 revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 2.4%, year over year, driven by strong close-in demand trends across the network. RASM for the quarter ended above the mid-point of our initial guidance range of 1.0% to 4.0% excluding a 0.3 point impact from strong completion factor during the quarter.
  • Operating expenses per available seat mile, excluding fuel (CASM ex-fuel) (1) declined 3.6%, below the low end of our initial guidance range of down (3.5%) to down (1.5%). This decline includes a small benefit of approximately 0.3 points from improved completion factor.

Images: JetBlue. Cabin and entertainment refresh.

Key Guidance for the First Quarter and Full Year 2019:

  • Capacity is expected to increase between 7.5% and 9.5% year over year in the first quarter 2019. For the full year 2019, JetBlue expects capacity to increase between 5.0% and 7.0%.
  • RASM growth is expected to range between down (2.0%) and plus 1.0% for the first quarter 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Our guidance includes two points of negative impact related to the calendar placement shift of Easter and Passover between the first and second quarters of 2019. In addition our guidance includes a net 0.75 point headwind related to a more active winter that impacted trough weeks during the first quarter of 2018.
  • CASM ex-fuel is expected to increase between 1.5% and 3.5% for the first quarter of 2019, principally driven by engine maintenance timing and the year-over-year impact of the pilot contract effective on August 1st, 2018. For the full year 2019, JetBlue continues to expect year over year CASM ex-fuel to be between flat and 2.0%.

Executing our Plan to Reach our EPS Commitments

“I’d like to thank our 22,000 Crewmembers across our network for all their hard work throughout 2018. I’d also like to congratulate our Crewmembers for operating the airline at 100 percent completion from December 10 through January 11. This is an impressive achievement as we safely delivered our Customers to their destinations during one of the busiest times of the year,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer.

“During 2018 we continued to work on our plan to strengthen the foundation of JetBlue and position the company to thrive. In bringing this very busy year to a close, I could not be prouder of our accomplishments. 2018 was a year of significant fuel volatility, and our team has remained relentlessly focused on executing our plan laid out in Investor Day. We are pleased with the progress we’ve made to-date on our building blocks. We are mindful of the external environment, but remain focused on executing on the initiatives we control, which we believe will create value and drive returns for our Owners.”

“We expect 2019 will be a stepping stone year to deliver on our 2020 goals, and to further improvements beyond 2020. We expect to see margin expansion resulting from our network reallocation, ancillary revenue initiatives, improvements to our fleet and our progress in better controlling our costs. We remain confident in our ability to execute on our building blocks and achieve our $2.50 to $3.00 EPS target in 2020,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Revenue Performance and Outlook

Fourth quarter RASM increased 2.4%. Excluding the 0.3 point headwind from improved completion factor, RASM was above the mid-point of our original guidance range 1.0% to 4.0%. During the quarter we saw strong close-in demand across the network, with strong peaks and continued improvement in trough periods,” said Marty St. George, JetBlue’s EVP Commercial and Planning.

“We are broadly seeing fourth quarter demand trends carry into the first quarter. Our ‘clean’ RASM is expected to fall between 0.75 and 3.75 percent during the first quarter, which adds back the impact of the calendar shift and weather to our guidance.”

Cost Performance, Outlook and Balance Sheet

Fourth quarter CASM ex-fuel declined 3.6%, below the low end of the updated guidance of down (3.5%) to down (1.5%), driven by execution of our Structural Cost Program. “I am delighted to say we exceeded our plan, and reported underlying CASM ex-fuel growth below the mid-point of our full year guidance, despite the added pressure from lower capacity in three of four quarters,” said Steve Priest, JetBlue’s EVP Chief Financial Officer.

“Excluding the 2018 impact from our pilot deal of 1.3 points, we achieved a small decline in underlying CASM ex-fuel for the year. This is an important accomplishment in improving our cost control as we have now achieved $199 million dollars in 2020 run rate savings from our $250 to 300 million dollar Structural Cost Program, and we are on track to execute on our cost commitments through 2020.

Looking into the first quarter, similar to our progression in 2018, we expect the quarter over quarter variations during 2019 to also include scheduled engine maintenance events that may shift between quarters as we remain on a time and material basis for our Airbus engines. For 2019 we continue to expect our ex-fuel unit costs growth to range between 0 and 2 percent. We anticipate CASM ex-fuel growth to be higher in the first half of this year, largely as a result of the pilot contract effective on August 1 of 2018. In the second half of 2019 we expect to see further benefits from the ramp of the Structural Cost Program and the greater impact of our A320 fleet restyling efforts.”

Capital Allocation and Liquidity

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $887 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, and short term investments, or about 11.6% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, JetBlue maintains approximately $625 million in undrawn lines of credit.

JetBlue repaid $44 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations for the fourth quarter and $222 million for the full year 2018, and raised $147 million in net proceeds in secured aircraft debt for the fourth quarter. JetBlue anticipates maintaining a 30-40% adjusted debt to cap range and liquidity between 10% and 12%.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

The realized fuel price in the quarter was $2.24 per gallon, a 18.5% increase versus fourth quarter 2017 realized fuel price of $1.89.

JetBlue entered into forward fuel derivative contracts to hedge approximately 7% of its fuel consumption for the first half of 2019. Based on the fuel curve as of January 11th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel of $2.01 in the first quarter of 2019.

Notes

(1) Consolidated operating cost per available seat mile, excluding fuel and related taxes, and operating expenses related to other non-airline businesses (CASM Ex-Fuel) is a non-GAAP financial measure that we use to measure our core performance. Note A provides a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures used in this release and provides the reasons management uses those measures.

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 WL N809JB (msn 5349) (jetBlue for Good) FLL (Tony Storck). Image: 945291.

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