MIAMI — JetBlue Airways reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2016 this morning, announcing a pre-tax profit of $330 million (net income of $199 million) and a 20.5% operating margin. It was another excellent quarter on the top and bottom line for JetBlue under CEO Robin Hayes, and you can read along as our Senior Business Analyst Vinay Bhaskara live blogs the event below via the ReplyAll tool.
Vinay’s overall take on JetBlue’s Q3 results:
My overall take on the JetBlue Q3 results – another solid quarter and some of the commentary around growth and Mint have me very excited. I loved the investment in JetSuite, and I think that overall JetBlue has done some very interesting things in recent months.
The commentary around Mint routes becoming huge revenue drivers and business travelers choosing JetBlue in coach because of frequency was pretty fascinating.
The biggest headwind, continues to be cost growth, and while JetBlue tried to deflect it by talking about timing of maintenance events, the biggest driver there continues to be labor expenses. JetBlue is a maturing airlines and so some labor expenses (like health care) rise in cost regardless of what JetBlue does.
But beyond that, JetBlue is giving out substantial raises to its non-pilot employees and will be forced to hand out a very expensive contract to its unionized pilots (it would not shock me if they asked for Southwest-esque numbers, which JetBlue cannot afford). That’s the biggest risk to JetBlue’s finances moving forward.