Tag Archives: 2461

JetBlue Airways Corporation reports first quarter net income of only $4 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the first quarter 2014:

Operating income of $41 million in the first quarter. This compares to operating income of $59 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Pre-tax income of $6 million in the first quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $23 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Net income for the first quarter was $4 million, or $0.01 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s first quarter 2013 net income of $14 million, or $0.05 per diluted share.

“Today, we reported our sixteenth consecutive quarter of profitability,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “While first quarter results were negatively impacted by severe winter weather in the Northeast, we believe our maturing network in high-value geography together with our differentiated product and service will help JetBlue expand margins and improve shareholder returns in 2014.”

Operational Performance

JetBlue reported record first quarter operating revenues of $1.3 billion despite severe winter weather in the Northeast. JetBlue cancelled 4,100 flights during the quarter, which reduced revenue by an estimated $50 million and reduced operating income by approximately $35 million. Revenue passenger miles for the first quarter increased 1.8% to 8.7 billion on a capacity increase of 2.7%, resulting in a first quarter load factor of 83.1%, a decrease of 0.8 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the first quarter was 14.20 cents, up 1.8% compared to the first quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the first quarter 2014 increased 0.9% year over year to 11.80 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.1% year over year to 12.95 cents. The shift of the Easter and Passover holidays from March last year to April this year negatively impacted first quarter year over year PRASM by approximately three points.

“We achieved year over year improvements in yield and fare while growing capacity — demonstrating the core strength of our business,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President. “With a solid demand environment and continued focus on ancillary revenue initiatives, we expect year over year unit revenue growth to accelerate in the second quarter.”

Operating expenses for the quarter increased 5.5%, or $68 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.3%, or $4 million, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the first quarter increased 2.6% year over year to 12.55 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM increased 6.3% to 8.10 cents driven mainly by capacity reductions and higher non-fuel operating expenses associated with severe winter weather.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, during the first quarter JetBlue hedged approximately 16% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 8% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.14 per gallon, a 4.4% decrease over first quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.29. JetBlue recorded $1 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the first quarter.

JetBlue has managed approximately 22% of its second quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of April 16th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $3.11 in the second quarter.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $771 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.

During the first quarter, JetBlue repaid $237 million in debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $481 million in debt and capital lease obligations in 2014, including approximately $48 million in the second quarter.

JetBlue remains committed to improving its return on invested capital (ROIC) by an average of one percentage point per year. “We remain focused on growing unit revenues while maintaining our cost advantage and strengthening the balance sheet,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer. “To that end, we plan to use the net proceeds from the pending sale of our wholly-owned subsidiary LiveTV to prepay debt and for other ROIC-accretive actions.”

Second Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the second quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to be increase between 3.5% and 5.5% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the second quarter is expected to increase between 4.5% and 6.5% year over year.

CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 2.0% and 4.0% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 3.5% and 5.5% year over year.

JetBlue expects approximately 1.5 points of this year over year unit cost increase to be driven by capacity reductions resulting from (1) reallocation of aircraft from longer haul routes to support new service in Washington Reagan National Airport and (2) first quarter weather-related cancellations.

Capacity is expected to increase between 5.5% and 7.5% in the second quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) in the FDNY special livery taxies at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue talks about repositioning aircraft and recovering from a snowstorm

JetBlue Airways (New York) has published this piece on its Blue Tales blog about repositioning aircraft and crews:

For most people, digging out after a snow storm is about brushing off the car, clearing the driveway, and making sure the roads are clear. For a 24/7 operation like an airline though, it can be a little more involved, and digging out is only the first step.

Operating a scheduled flight requires a delicate handoff of planes to rested pilots and inflight crewmembers able to work the flight. Delays or cancellations disrupt those handoffs placing crews or planes “out of position” for their flights. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Austin becomes difficult to operate after a storm when the scheduled plane is in New York, a rested Inflight crew is ready to start their trip in Fort Lauderdale, and the pilots are delayed trying to get in from Rochester.

Getting those crews and planes into position without disrupting other crews and their scheduled flights is no easy task. We often need to cancel flights to “thin” the operation around an irregular operations day to make sure planes and crews are ‘reset’ just so we can start the next day fresh.

Fresh is the key word there. It may seem counter-intuitive to cancel a flight that seems able to operate, but our crews need to be rested in order to operate flights. When a pilot or inflight crewmember leaves for the airport, they’re on a timer. Once they time out, they need to leave and get some rest, whether they’re where they’re supposed to be or not. While disappointing, we’d rather cancel a flight before all the customers have gathered in the airport, and where we can be sure our crew can be ready to start fresh and rested.

Today, even in the midst of us repairing those schedules disrupted by this week’s winter storms, we’re facing an additional complication as new FAA rules go into effect for crew rest. These rules further impact our ability to operate an already disrupted schedule, causing our pilots to “time out” even sooner. As a result, additional cancellations are likely to occur as we work to reset the operation.

We understand the frustration this causes for our customers and will do everything we can to minimize the impact. Many travelers similarly find themselves “out of position” as already full holiday flights make it difficult to find immediate reaccommodation of canceled flights, and limited spare aircraft and crews make extra sections few and far between. If you’re scheduled to fly out on a trip today, we’d encourage you to look at our weather advisory for current information on our fee waivers, and if you still opt to travel, please check the status of your flight online prior to leaving for the airport.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) in the special FDNY scheme prepares to depart from Long Beach.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways and South African Airways begin code-sharing

JetBlue Airways (New York) and South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg) have launched their bilateral code-share agreement.

JetBlue is now placing its “B6” code on SAA-operated flights between the U.S. and Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as on connecting flights to select destinations beyond Johannesburg including Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

SAA flies each day between both New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport

Via its Johannesburg hub, SAA links the world to most cities and destinations across southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, including South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Beginning in 2014, JetBlue will debut Mint, the carrier’s new premium offering, featuring the longest lie-flat bed in domestic business class and the only private suites on the New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco routes.

At JFK Airport, JetBlue operates from its Terminal 5, while SAA operates from the adjacent Terminal 4, allowing for fast and easy connections between flights.

At Washington Dulles, both JetBlue and SAA are co-located in Concourse B.

Top Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Standing out in the red FDNY special livery, Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

South African Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. South African Airways’ Airbus A340-313X ZS-SXE (msn 646) leaves the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.

JetBlue endorses the DOJ settlement, adds two new destinations in the Caribbean

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) has released the following statement from CEO and President Dave Barger in regards to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) proposed settlement, that would permit American Airlines and US Airways to proceed with their merger plans:

“On behalf of the 15,000 crewmembers of JetBlue Airways, New York’s Hometown Airline™, I applaud the Department of Justice’s pro-consumer proposed settlement and we look forward to participating in the divestiture process. JetBlue is eager to increase our low fare service in communities across the country and particularly at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.”

In other news, JetBlue has announced its expanded winter schedule in the Caribbean, featuring more flights than ever before. With the planned launch of service to two new island destinations, JetBlue will serve the Caribbean region this winter with an average of 200 daily flights.

In addition to its own network growth, JetBlue also announces the signing of two new interline agreements in the Caribbean, with LIAT and Seaborne Airlines, and a growth of its existing partnership with Cape Air. This expands the single-ticket options for JetBlue customers into a number of additional Caribbean destinations.

Two new cities and five new routes planned

JetBlue has announced five new Caribbean routes that will launch in the coming months, including service to two new destinations: Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (a). New routes include:

  • Chicago (ORD) – San Juan, Puerto Rico (starts Nov. 20)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood – Port-au-Prince, Haiti (starts Dec. 5) (a)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (starts May 1) (a)
  • New York (JFK) – Port-au-Prince, Haiti (starts Dec. 5) (a)
  • New York (JFK) – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (starts Feb. 24) (a)

Five destinations to see added capacity with larger aircraft

JetBlue plans to meet peak winter demand this winter by deploying its brand new Airbus A321 aircraft to a variety of Caribbean destinations. The A321 is outfitted with 190 seats, featuring the most legroom in coach (b), and boosting the number of seats per departure by 40 compared to JetBlue’s current 150-seat A320 aircraft. The following destinations will see select flights to/from New York (JFK) operated by the larger A321:

  • Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Santiago, Dominican Republic
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Additionally, JetBlue will offer even more frequencies between New York (JFK) and Barbados during peak holiday times, including President’s Day and Easter.

JetBlue’s A321s will be operating fresh from the factory and will not yet have in-flight television, radio or movies.

More destinations with new and expanded interline partnerships

JetBlue has added two new interline agreements, with LIAT and Seaborne Airlines, and expanded its existing partnership with Cape Air, bringing a number of new Caribbean destinations within reach for JetBlue customers.

LIAT now offers JetBlue customers connections to several new destinations including Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, when transferring at Barbados and St. Maarten. Founded in 1956, LIAT is one of the largest and most experienced carriers in the Caribbean region. Tickets are now available for sale through travel agencies.

Seaborne Airlines also opens up several new destinations for JetBlue customers, including St. Kitts, Dominica, and Guadeloupe and Martinique in the French Caribbean, all via San Juan, as well as connections to La Romana, Dominican Republic on a daily basis. In addition, Seaborne will offer more flight options for customers connecting at San Juan to/from both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Seaborne’s regional network includes 11 destinations from San Juan and a total of 625 weekly departures. JetBlue-Seaborne itineraries are now available for sale through travel agencies.

JetBlue’s longstanding partnership with Cape Air also expands this winter, with new destinations available via San Juan: Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. With service to these two unspoiled island destinations, which is expected to kick off in early 2014, Cape Air will serve a total of nine destinations from San Juan including options like Anguilla and Nevis.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. The new JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N615JB (msn 2461) in the special FDNY – Fire Department New York taxies past the camera at the JFK hub.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show