MIAMI – jetBlue (B6) beat Wall Street expectations by posting a net income of US$130m in Q3 2021. This compares to a net loss of US$393m in Q3 2020.
Compared to Q3 2019, prior to the pandemic shutdown, capacity declined by 0.8% and revenue declined by 5.5%. This is better than the airline’s planning assumption of a 6% to 9% decline from 2019 to 2021. This was mainly the result of continued outperformance of JetBlue’s Fare Options initiative, as well as an uptick in demand toward the end of the quarter.
Operating expenses per available seat mile decreased 2.1% year over two. JetBlue ended the third quarter of 2021 with approximately US$3.3bn in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. This excludes the airline’s US$550m undrawn revolving credit facility.
In July 2020, B6 announced a partnership with American Airlines (AA). The so-called Northeast Alliance allows the two carriers to coordinate on schedules in the region but not fares.
This alliance, according to the airline, has supercharged competition in the Northeast by providing more choices and better service for customers. Together with AA, B6 launched 58 new routes out of the Northeast, added frequencies on more than 130 routes, and plans to expand to 18 new international destinations.
The two airlines estimate that the alliance has generated more than US$800m in consumer benefits annually.
JetBlue plans to hire 1,800 new crewmembers for the NEA – jobs that otherwise would not be created without this alliance.
The Airline Comments
“We believe that demand is once again poised to re-accelerate into the peak holiday periods and beyond as people continue to adjust to a new normal,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We are marching towards a full recovery and a return to sustained profitability, with margin as our ‘north star’. I am a firm believer that our unique business model – low costs, low fares, and a superior product – positions JetBlue to thrive in the years ahead.”
Featured image: Airbus A321XLR in jetBlue livery Image: Airbus Media