JetBlue Airways posts solid financial results in Q1

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JetBlue Airways has reported a pre-tax income of $58 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 – a decline of 48.5 per cent from $113 million in Q1 of 2018.

First quarter 2019 revenue per available seat mile (RASM) declined 3.1 per cent, year-over-year (YOY), driven by holiday calendar placement, improved completion factor and certain areas of softness observed in the trough period.

The airline posted revenues of $1.87 billion for the quarter ended March 2019 up 6.9 per cent on Q1 last year.

The company’s bottom line came in at $42 million. This compares with $90 million in last year’s Q1. Excluding items, JetBlue Airways reported adjusted earnings of $51 million.

The US carrier said capacity is expected to increase between 4.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent YOY in the second quarter 2019. For the full year 2019, JetBlue expects capacity to increase between 4.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent.

RASM growth is expected to range between one per cent and four per cent for the second quarter 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

“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 JetBlue’s chief executive officer, Robin Hayes.

“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,” added JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer, Joanna Geraghty.