JetBlue Reports Mixed Q4 2019 Results
JetBlue has posted its fourth quarter results for 2019. The figures show mixed performance, with the airline resetting its cost structure in the aim of returning to their roots as a low-cost carrier. Another notable factor in performance was the unexpectedly volatile year for Latin and Caribbean markets, partially brought on by natural disasters in the area, which the airline says masked performance in its "building blocks".
The three-month period saw a slight increase in diluted earnings per share. This brought the total up to $0.56, marginally outperforming Q4 2018's $0.55 per share. GAAP pre-tax income came to $220 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $201 million in the previous year. Furthermore, pre-tax margins were up 0.6 percentage points to 10.8%.
Revenue per available seat mile (RASM) saw a decline of 2.7% year over year. This decline was driven by lower than expected close-in bookings during the Thanksgiving peak. Operating expenses per available seat mile, excluding fuel (CASM ex-fuel) came out flat year over year. Both of these figures were largely in-line with guidance.
Despite this, Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer said: “I could not be prouder of the accomplishments of the JetBlue family over two decades. Over 20 years, we have become a “force for good” in our industry. We have worked hard to improve our balance sheet, expand and strengthen our network, and have made investments in our fleet to improve margins and returns".
Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer, said: “Our fourth quarter and full year 2019 capacity grew in the upper half of our guidance range due to improved completion factor, in addition to shifting the timing of our cabin restyling program to make up for NEO delivery delays”.
JetBlue has built up their position as a prominent player in North America throughout the years and now looks to expand into Europe via Heathrow in the years to come.