JetBlue has now reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2023 – despite a net loss it reported the highest first-quarter revenue in its history.
First Quarter results
The airline announced its Q1 2023 results on 25 April 2023 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
The results showed the airline made a net loss for the quarter of 192 million USD. Adjusted net loss for the quarter, excluding one-time items, was 111 million USD. The airline paid approximately 109 million USD in debt and finance lease obligations in the period.
Despite the loss, the New York-based carrier generated its highest first-quarter revenue in its history. Operating revenue was 2.3 billion USD for the quarter, an increase of 34.1% compared to the same quarter in 2022. Capacity also increased in the quarter by 9% compared to 2022.
Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Thanks to our team’s collective hard work, our first quarter financial results came in better than expectations.”
Operating expenses per available seat mile increased in the quarter by 12.1%. This was primarily associated with increased jet fuel prices, related taxes and other non-airline operating expenses. The average fuel price was 3.50 USD per gallon, including hedges, for the airline in 1Q23.
Without these items, operating expenses per available seat mile increased by 1.2% in the quarter compared to the previous year.
At the end of the quarter, the company reported 1.7 billion USD in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, and long-term marketable securities. This, it was reported, is excluding the airline’s 600 million USD undrawn revolving credit facility.
The reported adjusted debt-to-capital ratio was 53% as of the end of the quarter.
- Reported adjusted EPS for the first quarter of 2023 which exceeded guidance, with strong operational and financial execution. First quarter revenue was approximately 4% points better than the midpoint of initial outlook, and CASM ex-Fuel was 1.8% points better than the midpoint of initial outlook.
“…we are forecasting strong sequential pre-tax margin improvement into the second quarter. We remain well on track in executing our comprehensive plan to enhance our long-term profitability and restore our historical earnings power,” Hayes added.
The airline reports its second-quarter outlook to be positive with continued strong revenue growth as the airline heads towards the peak season. The carrier stated that demand remained robust and momentum in its commercial initiatives continued.
Hayes concluded, “We are forecasting a solidly profitable quarter, and we remain confident in our full-year earnings outlook.”
|Second Quarter and Full-Year 2023 Outlook||Estimated 2Q 2023||Estimated FY 2023|
|Available Seat Miles (ASMs) Year-Over-Year||4.5% – 7.5%||5.5% – 8.5%|
|Revenue Year-Over-Year||4.5% – 8.5%||High Single Digits to Low Double Digits|
|CASM Ex-Fuel(2) (Non-GAAP) Year-Over-Year||1.5% – 3.5%(3)||1.5% – 4.5%(3)|
|Estimated Fuel Price per Gallon(4)||$2.75– $2.90(5)||$2.95 – $3.15|
|Interest Expense||$40 – $50 million||$200 – $210 million|
|Adjusted Earnings per Share||$0.35 – $0.45||$0.70 – $1.00|
Expansion across the Atlantic
JetBlue also announced its plans to continue network expansion across the Atlantic and into European markets. It revealed its nonstop service between its home base of New York JFK (JFK) to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS).
The service is scheduled to start on 29 August of this year and will be accompanied by a similar service from Boston (BOS), starting on 20 September.
The new route will be the carrier’s third across the North Atlantic, adding to its London route established in August 2021 and the Paris route starting in June this year.
To mark the occasion, the airline announced a sale on ticket costs for the two routes to Amsterdam. Limited return fares are starting at 1,899 USD and 1,299 USD in Mint – its premium seating cabin. Core cabin seats start at 479 USD and 399 USD.
On the announcement, Hayes said, “Entrenched legacy carriers have dominated this route for decades. Our transatlantic service demonstrates how JetBlue’s entrance into a new market lowers fares and benefits customers.”
The new route schedules are as follows:
Schedule between New York (JFK) and Amsterdam (AMS)
|Daily service starting August 29 (Eastbound) & August 30 (Westbound)*all times local|
|JFK – AMS Flight #2288||AMS – JFK Flight #2289|
|10:00 p.m. – 11:35 a.m. (+1)||1:35 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
Schedule between Boston (BOS) and Amsterdam (AMS)
|Daily service starting September 20 (Eastbound) & September 21 (Westbound)*all times local|
|BOS- AMS Flight #31||AMS – BOS Flight #32|
|8:00 p.m. – 9:35 a.m. (+1)||11:35 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.|
Both routes will operate on the airline’s Airbus A321 LR (Long Range) fleet. The aircraft are configured with 24 seats in its Mint Suite cabin and 114 seats in its Core Cabin.
The airline states its use of the A321LR allows the company to offer the range of larger aircraft with efficiencies of smaller single-aisle aircraft, passing on savings to the customer.
In the press release on the route announcement, JetBlue stated it is intended to “disrupt” the market between the US and Amsterdam with its “award-winning service and low fares.”
“We look forward to continue expanding JetBlue’s transatlantic footprint and introduce customers traveling to and from Amsterdam to our award-winning service and to our highly-acclaimed Mint and core products at affordable fares,” Hayes added.