Tag Archives: Highrise

JetBlue announces its first quarter 2019 results

"My Other Ride is A JetBlue E190"

JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the first quarter 2019:

  • Reported diluted earnings per share of $0.14 in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $0.28 in the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted diluted earnings per share was $0.16 in the first quarter of 2019 versus $0.26 in the first quarter of 2018. 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 $58 million, a decline of 48.5% from $113 million in the first quarter of 2018. Excluding the one-time costs, adjusted pre-tax income of $70 million(1), a decline of 38.2% from the first quarter of 2018.
  • Pre-tax margin of 3.1%, inclusive of the one-time costs, a 3.3 point decline from the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted pre-tax margin of 3.7%(1), a 2.7 percentage point decline year over year.


Highlights from the First Quarter 2019

  • First quarter 2019 revenue per available seat mile (RASM) declined 3.1%, year over year, driven by holiday calendar placement, improved completion factor and certain areas of softness observed in the trough period. Excluding the 0.75 point impact from high completion factor, RASM declined 2.4% year over year, slightly better than the mid-point of our guidance range of down (3.5%) to down (1.5%).
  • Operating expenses per available seat mile, excluding fuel (CASM ex-fuel) (1) increased 0.9%, below the low end of our initial guidance range of 1.5% to 3.5%. This increase includes a benefit of approximately 0.75 points from improved completion factor.

Key Guidance for the Second Quarter and Full Year 2019:

  • Capacity is expected to increase between 4.5% and 6.5% year over year in the second quarter 2019. For the full year 2019, JetBlue expects capacity to increase between 4.5% and 6.5%.
  • RASM growth is expected to range between 1.0% and 4.0% for the second quarter 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Our guidance includes a benefit of 2.25 points of impact related to the calendar placement shift of Easter and Passover between the first and second quarters of 2019.
  • CASM ex-fuel is expected to increase between 1.5% and 3.5% for the second 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

“We are very proud of our team and the work they do every day to deliver the JetBlue experience. This quarter our financial performance was mainly impacted by the calendar placement of Easter and Passover holidays and, as disclosed in March, a softer revenue environment than initially expected,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer.

“In recent years we have repeatedly demonstrated our ability to adapt to the changing environment around us to achieve our margin commitments – and 2019 is proving to be no different. We believe we will successfully execute our five ‘building blocks’ introduced at our 2018 Investor Day, and we remain committed to our goal of delivering earnings per share between $2.50 and $3 dollars by 2020. We also continue to expect margin expansion in 2019, and to further expand our margins in 2020.”

“We believe our work will position us for success into the next decade. Next year we anticipate the first delivery of our margin-accretive A220s, a game-changing aircraft to further help us reduce our unit costs, improve our margins and increase our EPS. We are thrilled that we recently converted 13 A321s in our order book to A321 LRs, and we expect to begin our European service by adding London from Boston and New York starting in 2021,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Revenue Performance and Outlook

First quarter RASM declined 3.1% year over year. Excluding the 0.75 point headwind from improved completion factor, RASM was slightly better than the mid-point of our guidance range of down (3.5%) to down (1.5%). “Our RASM was negatively impacted by three drivers: this year’s holiday calendar placement, improved completion factor, and certain areas of softness we observed in the trough period,” said Marty St. George, JetBlue’s EVP Commercial and Planning.

“Looking into the second quarter, we expect RASM growth between 1.0% and 4.0% year over year. Our guidance includes an anticipated 2.25 point positive impact of Easter/Passover holiday placement shift into April. March RASM showed clear signs of a weaker trough, which extended into the first half of April. The April peak, however, is showing the strength we had expected, and very early look at May and June points to sequential RASM acceleration.”

Cost Performance, Outlook and Balance Sheet

“Our first quarter CASM ex-fuel represents a unit cost increase below the mid-point of our guidance range. For the second quarter, we expect CASM ex-fuel growth to range between 1.5% and 3.5%. As a reminder, both our first quarter and second quarter guidance include an approximately three-point impact from our pilot contract signed last August,” said Steve Priest, JetBlue’s EVP Chief Financial Officer.

“We could not be prouder of the hard work across JetBlue to deliver on our commitments to hit our goals. We are encouraged by the CASM ex-fuel progress we made in the first quarter, and the progression we anticipate for the rest of the year. In the first half we will continue to digest our first pilot contract, and despite our capacity reduction from early March, our guidance range remains between 0 and 2 percent.”

Capital Allocation and Liquidity

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $876 million in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments, or about 11.3% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, at the end of the quarter, JetBlue maintained approximately $625 million in undrawn lines of credit. JetBlue repaid $133 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations for the first quarter.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

The realized fuel price in the quarter was $2.05 per gallon, a 2.0% decline versus first quarter 2018 realized fuel price of $2.09.

JetBlue entered into forward fuel derivative contracts to hedge approximately 7% of its fuel consumption for the second quarter of 2019. Based on the fuel curve as of April 12th, JetBlue expects an average all-in price per gallon of fuel of $2.21 in the second quarter of 2019.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N793JB (msn 4647) (Highrise) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946262.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:

JetBlue pilots approve a four-year agreement

"A Little Blue Will Do"

JetBlue Airways with its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today announced the ratification of a four-year contract. Of the 98% of pilots who voted, 74% cast ballots voted in favor of the agreement.

The contractual terms, including market competitive pay rates, per diems and 401(k) provisions, will be effective August 1, 2018. Negotiations began in 2015 and have been guided by the National Mediation Board (NMB) since 2017.

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N639JB (msn 2814) (Highrise) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 942912.

JetBlue aircraft slide show:

JetBlue returns to pre-hurricane levels of service as it celebrates 16 years in Puerto Rico

JetBlue Airways introduces a new tail design (Highrise)

JetBlue Airways, Puerto Rico’s largest airline, marked the return of its full flight schedule on the island after last year’s hurricanes by celebrating with customers, crewmembers and partners at San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

JetBlue’s return of capacity, which coincides with its 16th anniversary of service in San Juan, came six months earlier than originally planned, given the improved demand for travel to Puerto Rico as the island continues to recover from Hurricane Maria and welcomes new visitors.

To support the increase in service, JetBlue has hired 50 new crewmembers for its San Juan operation, with the new crewmembers joining the airline just in time for the summer peak season. Along with JetBlue’s nearly 500 crewmembers based in Puerto Rico, they will support JetBlue’s up to 48 daily flights between Puerto Rico and 13 cities in the U.S. and the Caribbean (a).

In the days after Hurricane Maria made landfall, JetBlue introduced the 100x35JetBlue initiative, with 35 ways and 100 days – and beyond – of caring for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The initiatives provided immediate first needs for the community, while also focusing on long-term, productive partnerships with key entities, such as the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), to encourage the return of tourism, contribute to the local economy, and invest in the island’s future. JetBlue has gradually increased its flights as demand has grown from ‘visiting friends and relatives customers’ who travel back and forth to the island. JetBlue has also been working with PRTC to encourage visitors to return to Puerto Rico and to offer world-class hospitality both in the air and on the ground through JetBlue’s hospitality training for industry workers.

Routes from San Juan:

Investing in Puerto Rico’s Future

JetBlue’s long-term 100x35JetBlue initiatives continue within the community, most recently with an announcement this week that as part of its 16th anniversary celebration of service to Puerto Rico, the JetBlue Foundation has pledged $100,000 worth of grants to STEM education programs on the island. Grants from the JetBlue Foundation will help further the airline’s efforts to invest in the island’s future and place aviation fields top-of-mind as career choices for students. The JetBlue Foundation will award $100,000 to qualified schools and organizations to fuel learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The JetBlue Foundation is currently accepting letters of inquiry for grants through June 29, 2018. To help other STEM and aviation-focused organizations navigate the application process, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, a previous JetBlue Foundation grant recipient, will offer a grant writing workshop. The school will share best practices that helped them receive a grant in 2016 for its “Girls in Aviation” program which aims to spark an interest in STEM for girls ages 10-17. The workshop will take place on June 22 at the Inter American School of Law in Hato Rey. Guests can RSVP at askjbfoundation@jetblue.com. RSVPs are required for attendance. For grant criteria or to submit a letter of inquiry, interested organizations can visit jetbluefoundation.org/grants. Grant recipients will be announced in fall 2018.

In addition, this summer the JetBlue Foundation and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) will host their second annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy initiative in San Juan, introducing students ages 14 to 18 to careers in aviation.

JetBlue’s hurricane recovery efforts also include projects aimed at restoring the island’s natural resources and beauty. JetBlue’s recent “Green Up” campaign included two Puerto Rico-based conservation organizations customers could vote to select to receive “Green Up” grants, with Centro de Restauración: Vida Marina Center for Coastal Restoration and Conservation at the University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla having been chosen to receive a $15,000 grant.

JetBlue’s crewmembers in San Juan volunteered more than 1,000 hours in the local community during 2017 and won the JetBlue “Blue City of the Year” Award. As winners of this honor, the team will get to donate $10,000 to their favorite charity.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by JetBlue): JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N537JT (msn 1785) (Highrise) SJU (Raul Sepulveda). Image: 936971.

JetBlue aircraft slide show:


Inaugural JetBlue ‘Gateway Select’ pilot trainees one step closer to becoming commercial pilots

JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N589JB (msn 2215) (Highrise) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941680.

JetBlue Airways on April 23, 2018 announced the first graduation of candidates from the training portion of its innovative pilot recruiting pathway – Gateway Select, the airline’s competency-based training program for aspiring pilots. The first group of pilots has completed their primary classroom, technical and flight training and will now continue on a path to receiving their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate by earning their FAA-mandated 1,500 hours of flying time as flight instructors. After instructing for two years, they will begin flying as first officers at JetBlue, as early as 2020.

“Following a rigorous selection process and extensive training, we’re proud to see the first cohort complete the training portion of our Gateway Select program,” said Warren Christie, senior vice president of safety, security and air operations, JetBlue. “This milestone with the first class further proves our competency-based pathway works and provides a new path of entry for those who never saw commercial aviation as a career option.”

JetBlue partners with CAE (NYSE:CAE) to deliver Gateway Select’s training curriculum. This milestone is the first from this innovative program which trains high-quality pilots based on aptitude. The program is being completed in cohort classes. There are currently four classes in various stages of the program ranging from private pilot training through positions as Flight Instructors.

Cohort one started in August 2016 and has completed the training curriculum portion of the program. This first class went through airline and skills-based training at JetBlue’s state-of-the art training campus – JetBlue University in Orlando, and gained flying experience at CAE Phoenix, CAE’s aviation academy in Mesa, AZ. As flight instructors, the candidates will pass the baton providing flight instruction to Cohort three, currently in the finishing stages of their classroom learning.

“Gateway Select was designed to help make pilot careers more accessible to a broader range of candidates,” Christie said. “We remain committed to recruiting a diverse talent pipeline with our seven Gateway Programs by continuing to partner with colleges, technical schools and other organizations that also seek to make the commercial pilot ranks more accessible.”

“CAE is proud to be the training partner of choice of this historic cadet creation program,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “It is part of our mission to grow and train tomorrow’s pilots to the highest standards. Congratulations to the first cohort of JetBlue’s Gateway Select future pilots.”

As JetBlue commemorates this milestone, the airline is currently accepting applications for the next round of candidates slated to start training as early as fall of 2018. Applications and more information on the Gateway Select program will be available at http://pilots.jetblue.com/gateway-select.

Gateway Select Pilot Training Program – The Gateway Select program provides participants with the opportunity to become JetBlue pilots after completing a rigorous multi-year training program which encompasses classroom learning, extensive real-world flying experience and instruction in full-flight simulators. Gateway Select candidates go through a series of assessments based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) pilot competencies and JetBlue’s own selection criteria.

JetBlue partners with CAE, leveraging CAE’s experience in delivering competency-based training programs to airlines throughout the world, to deliver Gateway Select’s training curriculum. Gateway Select takes the best from training programs used by the U.S. military and international airlines and applies the safety standards and federal requirements for current pilots. The Pilot trainees came from a diverse set of backgrounds and professional experiences, including a heavy machine operator, a supermarket sales clerk and an accountant.

How It Works

Pilot trainees complete a series of training phases with guidance and mentorship from JetBlue to build the skills and experience required of a pilot for a major airline. The curriculum is also aligned with JetBlue’s unique customer-focused culture.

  • Trainees attend JetBlue University in Orlando for two weeks to learn the fundamentals of aviation and become acquainted with the company.
  • Trainees continue to CAE Phoenix, CAE’s aviation academy in Mesa, AZ for 30 weeks to develop core flying skills. Upon completion, candidates receive their private pilot’s license.
  • Trainees then return to JetBlue University for training on highly complex transport category aircraft, concluding with a JetBlue Line Operational Evaluation (LOE) and the completion of the Airline Transport Pilot – Certification Training Program (ATP-CTP). Training includes the safe and efficient operation of the Embraer 190 or the Airbus 320
  • Next, trainees return to CAE Phoenix for 12 weeks of additional FAA licensing requirements to receive their Commercial single & multi-engine instrument ratings. Trainees will then attend an instructor course to achieve their CFI (certified flight instructor) and CFII (Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument) qualifications and ratings. Upon completion, trainees then begin working as entry-level salaried instructors for CAE’s aviation academy while accumulating flight hours to achieve the FAA’s 1,500 flight-hour requirement.
  • Upon meeting the FAA and Gateway Select requirements, pilots become new hires at JetBlue, where they complete the same orientation and six-week instruction that all first officers complete.

JetBlue hires hundreds of new pilots every year, recruiting through its seven JetBlue Pilot Gateway programs®. These pilot pathways include University Gateway, Transition Gateway, and qualified first officer recruiting. Information about all of JetBlue’s pilot recruitment pathways, including Gateway Select, can be found at http://pilots.jetblue.com.

Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N589JB (msn 2215) (Highrise) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941680.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:


JetBlue introduces its first Embraer 190 special livery – “Blueprint”


JetBlue Airways (New York) on February 20, 2017 announced two eye-catching additions to the airline’s fleet with the very first special livery for an Embraer 190 (above) and a new tailfin design that will appear on multiple aircraft this year (below). The airline is introducing the new paint schemes as it celebrates its 17th anniversary this month.


‘Blueprint’ Is Born

JetBlue has a long tradition of adding unique, special liveries to its Airbus A320 fleet and that tradition is expanding to the airline’s Embraer 190 fleet.

Often referred to as the backbone of the operation in cities like Boston; Washington, D.C.; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, JetBlue’s design team created a paint scheme that showcased the so-called “bones” of the 100-seat aircraft. Drawing upon the styles of various aviation, nautical and space exploration vehicle cut-away diagrams, the JetBlue design team created a mechanical x-ray of sorts infused with some JetBlue fun.

The see-through paint job draws on both the technical and fanciful aspects of air travel. Mechanical features like the nose gear, jet engine and yoke were among the more obvious design elements to include. But for the onboard features, JetBlue designers drew upon their own travel experiences, crewmember tales, and the airline’s loyal customers for inspiration, even creating fictional characters to compile a list of the items they might be traveling with. Plane spotters are encouraged to give the overhead bins, under-seat storage areas, and the luggage holds a closer look to see if they can spot the nearly 50 items these “Blueprint” customers are traveling with.

Although “Blueprint” features just three signature JetBlue colors, it is one of the airline’s most intricate special livery designs and took nearly two weeks to paint at a facility in Quebec. The first-ever JetBlue E190 special livery debuted at Boston’s Logan International Airport and will operate on routes served by the E190 throughout the JetBlue network.

JetBlue Airways introduces a new tail design (Highrise)

Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N537JT (msn 1785) (Highrise) SJU (Raul Sepulveda). Image: 936971.

‘Highrise’ Reaches for the Skies

JetBlue has come a long way since launching its first two routes, now flying to 100 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. And even as the airline looks toward more growth in the years ahead there’s still no place like home. That’s why New York’s Hometown Airline® is honoring the city that never sleeps with a tailfin take on the buildings that form the iconic skyline.

The design, which depicts the image of bright lights through window panes of city high-rises (above), is meant to reflect JetBlue’s growth and New York’s perpetual desire to reach for the sky. Four of JetBlue’s signature colors are reflected in “Highrise” and the illuminated windows can be rearranged creating a slightly different pattern on different aircraft tailfins.

The “Highrise” pattern debuted at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and will be added to additional aircraft this year across the JetBlue network, so customers can be on the lookout for the newest tailfin design in a city near them.

Top Photo: JetBlue Airways. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N304JB (msn 19000257) pushes back from the gate.