AP

JetBlue sees return to profitability delayed by flight woes

Apr 26, 2022, 8:45 AM | Updated: 4:02 pm

DALLAS (AP) — JetBlue Airways said Tuesday that it lost $255 million in the first quarter, and widespread flight cancellations in April plus the need to hire and train more pilots will delay the company’s return to profitability.

New York-based JetBlue said it would further reduce its schedule this summer to limit delays and cancellations.

The company’s shares fell 11.4% to close at $11.57, barely above their 12-month low.

Like other airlines that have reported financial results this month, JetBlue said demand for tickets is strong and fares are rising — the average first-quarter fare was 31% higher than a year ago — as consumers continued to return to travel after two years of pandemic.

But JetBlue struggled in April, canceling 10% of its flights. The company blamed its problems on an increase in pilots leaving, bad weather in Florida and New York, air-traffic control delays and other factors.

The pilots’ union has heaped some of the blame on the airline’s chief of systems operations. A union official said the airline’s reputation has suffered as customers endure canceled flights and the airline mishandles pilot scheduling.

CEO Robin Hayes said JetBlue is a victim of a pilot shortage affecting the entire industry.

“We continue to experience elevated levels of pilot attrition and training pressure,” he told analysts.

Hayes said JetBlue will further trim planned growth in its summer schedule “to get the operation back on track,” and that will delay JetBlue’s return to profitability until the second half of this year. JetBlue previously said it would cut its May schedule by up to 10%.

On the call with management, analysts peppered JetBlue executives about the operational problems and rising costs.

“While we’ve been willing to look through a quarter or two of operational strain in the past, our confidence in management’s ability to wrestle (non-fuel costs) back under control is low,” JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker said in a note to clients. He lowered his rating on JetBlue’s stock from “overweight,” or buy, to “underweight.”

The airline said its adjusted loss was 80 cents per share, slightly better than the loss of 85 cents per share forecast by analysts in a FactSet survey. Revenue more than doubled from a year earlier, to $1.74 billion.

However, fuel spending nearly tripled, and labor costs rose by one-third from the same quarter last year.

JetBlue offered this month to buy Spirit Airlines for $3.6 billion to gain more heft, which it said it needed to better compete with American, Delta, United and Southwest. Hayes declined to answer questions Tuesday about the bid, which seeks to top an earlier offer by Frontier Airlines.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

JetBlue sees return to profitability delayed by flight woes