JetBlue Announces $32 Million 1st Quarter Net Loss...And "Comprehensive 'Return to Profitability' Plan"
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(April 25, 2006) -- JetBlue Airways, the largest single passenger air carrier at LB Airport, this morning (April 25) announced a $32 million net loss for the first quarter of 2006 along with what the company calls a "comprehensive 'Return to Profitability' plan."
"We are disappointed to report our second consecutive quarterly loss," said JetBlue Chairman/CEO David Neeleman in a release. "As we face what might be the 'new normal' for fuel prices, we have developed a comprehensive 'Return to Profitability' plan that includes right-sizing capacity, revenue enhancements and cost reductions. We are focusing on diversifying our route network with an emphasis on medium- and short-haul flights, revamping our fare structures to meet the sustained high fuel prices and right-sizing capacity in our trans-continental markets. The first action of this strategy is to adjust our fleet plan by deferring 12 aircraft previously scheduled for delivery in 2007 through 2009 to 2011 through 2012, and seeking a buyer for at least two of our Airbus A320 aircraft currently in revenue service. Taking these actions now allows us to continue to grow at a less accelerated rate, while still preserving our ability to take advantage of market opportunities now and in the future."
The company release went on to state in pertinent part:
As part of the Return to Profitability Plan, JetBlue's leadership team completed an extensive evaluation, which identified opportunities to decrease costs, increase labor efficiencies and improve revenue performance, while keeping the JetBlue Experience unique and continuing to meet customer expectations. Specific initiatives of this plan will be rolled out throughout 2006 and include a variety of revenue enhancement initiatives, more efficient fuel usage and conservation efforts, more rigorous supply chain management and a broad review of all expenses throughout the organization.
As part of the comprehensive plan, JetBlue will reduce capacity in certain trans-continental markets, increase trans-continental flying in higher performing markets and shift flying to shorter haul markets as a result of the high cost of fuel. The ratio of long-haul to non-long-haul flying in summer 2005, as measured by number of flights, was 1.5:1 which will shift to 1.2:1 in summer 2006.
...JetBlue will continue to focus on adding short- and medium-haul flights, including already-announced service [cites multiple examples, first among them Long Beach to Sacramento starting May 3]
JetBlue will remain flexible and responsive to long-haul opportunities, such as new nonstop service between Burbank, CA and Orlando, FL (beginning June 30, 2006) and Boston to Phoenix, AZ (beginning May 3, 2006).
As part of the airline's capacity-adjustment plan for 2006, JetBlue intends to sell at least two of its existing Airbus A320 aircraft that are currently in revenue service. JetBlue projects 2006 ASM growth, which had previously been projected at 28-30% over 2005, will be reduced to 20-22% for the full year over 2005.
JetBlue will also defer 12 Airbus A320 aircraft originally scheduled for delivery between 2007-2009 to 2011-2012. To preserve the airline's ability to take advantage of market opportunities, JetBlue has increased A320 options from two aircraft to four aircraft in both 2009 and 2010. The Embraer E190 delivery schedule remains unchanged...
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