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JetBlue’s ‘Blueprint’ special livery sits idle in the desert (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

JetBlue Announces Major Traffic Increase in Third Quarter, Finalizes Guyana Schedules

JetBlue Airways has become the latest U.S. airline to announce its third-quarter financial results. The airline reported significant financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel dropoff associated with it. 

The New York-based carrier announced a pre-tax loss of $578 million under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This is a significant drop from the airline’s $254 million profit in the same quarter last year. 

The airline’s passenger revenue totaled $445 million for the third quarter, over 2.6 times higher than a meager $170 million in the second quarter. The airline carried 2.151 million passengers in the latest quarter, a positive outlook compared to the previous quarter before it. In the second quarter of 2020, the airline carried just 616,000 passengers due to travel restrictions and a lack of demand. 

Even with more passengers traveling, the airline received a lower average fare per ticket. With average ticket prices dropping by $70.02, yield per passenger mile also dropped by 5.76 cents. This drop is likely related to an increase in leisure travel during this period – cost-conscious leisure travelers tend to pay less than business travelers who can have companies pay for flights. 

The carrier’s average cash burn was down to $6.1 million per day, much better than anticipated at the start of the quarter. Originally the airline had anticipated a cash burn per day between $7 million and $9 million per day. 

Focused on the Future

Not all was negative for JetBlue, however.

In the third quarter, our revenue declined 76% year over year, a welcome improvement compared to our initial expectation. We saw a modest, sequential improvement in August and September demand as new case counts decreased, and quarantine restrictions in some states were eased. Our Northeast geography continues to be disproportionately impacted, though we believe it will undoubtedly rebound as it always has with past challenges,” said JetBlue President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty.

The airline announced several new routes during the third quarter to leisure destinations across the country. While the airline previously served numerous leisure destinations, these new additions show that demand is returning and people are willing to travel. Many of these new routes, including flights to Montrose, Colorado; Cancun, Mexico and numerous Caribbean destinations begin operation in November and December. 

JetBlue also announced a start date for flights to Georgetown, Guyana. The flights to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown will start on Dec. 11 and will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A321neo aircraft. The route was previously announced in September 2019, but the original launch date of April 2, 2020 was delayed due to the coronavirus. 

Flights will operate four times weekly from the carrier’s hub at New York’s JFK airport with the following schedule:

JFK – GEO Flight #1965 GEO – JFK Flight #1966
3:40 p.m. – 10:13 p.m 11:59 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. (+1 day)

Jace Moseley
Jace Moseley
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