JetBlue Hit Hard in Second Quarter Earnings

Passenger demand might be on the rise, but not enough for JetBlue Airways to avoid a devastating second-quarter loss.

The New York-based airline reported earnings from April through June on Tuesday, and the carrier lost $320 million, or an adjusted $2.02 a share, as total operating revenue plunged 90 percent from a year ago to $215 million.

“For the past 20 years we have succeeded against the odds, and we firmly believe that we are laying the foundation and repositioning JetBlue to come out of this historic crisis as a stronger, global player in the years to come,” Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

“In the past two months, we made progress in reducing our cash burn, and have been quick to resize our operations to the very dynamic demand environment. While demand has improved materially from the lows we saw in April, bookings remain choppy, and we remain focused on addressing changing trends as we progress through the summer.”

United previously reported earning and while it lost $1.6 billion it actually exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

It could have been worse for JetBlue, too, but the carrier made some adjustments since the pandemic hit with a fury in late February, including slashing operating expenses by 66 percent, helping to reduce costs by $900 million. Capacity was down 85 percent year-over-year, but the average daily cash burn of $9.5 million for the second quarter is down to less than $8 million by the start of the July 1 third quarter.

“We continue to manage through this fluid environment with a near-term focus on preserving liquidity,” CFO Steve Priest said in a statement. “Just as importantly, we are positioning JetBlue to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Added Hayes: “As we move into recovery, we have laid out a three-step framework to set JetBlue up for success and emerge stronger. The first is to reduce our cash burn. The second step is to rebuild our margins. The third and last step is to repair our balance sheet. We have been nimble and managed the short term with a sense of urgency, to reduce our cash burn and build liquidity. We are confident that our actions to protect the health and safety of our Customers and Crewmembers, our network changes, and focus on costs will help us rebuild our margins faster.”

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