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JetBlue posts first quarter profit as fuel costs drop

April 23. 2009, New York - JetBlue Airways Corp. on Thursday posted a first-quarter profit for the first time in four years after it paid less for fuel and cut other costs.


April 23, 2009
By The Canadian Press

April 23. 2009, New York – JetBlue Airways Corp. on Thursday posted a
first-quarter profit for the first time in four years after it paid
less for fuel and cut other costs.

The Forest Hills, N.Y.-based company said Thursday it earned $12
million, or five cents per share, compared with a loss of $10
million, or five cents per share a year earlier.

Adjusted to exclude a charge related to JetBlue's remaining
auction-rate securities, JetBlue's net income for the quarter would
have been $20 million, or eight cents per share.

Revenue fell three per cent to $793 million.

Thomson Reuters says analysts expected profit of three cents per
share on revenue of $810.3 million.

JetBlue paid 31 per cent less for fuel in the period than it did
a year ago. The carrier restructured its fuel hedges last year so it
wasn't tied to as many contracts this year as fuel got cheaper.
Yield per passenger mile, a key performance metric for airlines,
rose 2.5 per cent.

Traffic during the quarter fell eight per cent to six billion
revenue passenger miles. JetBlue scaled back capacity by 5.4 per
cent in the period.

The company said it will continue to reduce capacity slightly as
travel demand remains weak. JetBlue expects capacity will fall
between one and three per cent this quarter, with capacity changes
for the full year virtually flat.

JetBlue ended the first quarter with about $634 million in cash
and cash equivalents. The carrier had $221 million of auction rate
securities at the end of the quarter.

In premarket trading JetBlue shares rose 67 cents, or 12 per
cent, to $6.25.