$97m net profit for JetBlue in 2010

JetBlue Airways has reported its results for the fourth quarter and full year 2010, featuring a $97m net profit for the complete calendar year, a 59% increase on 2009’s net income of $61 million.

While the pre-tax income of $15 million in the fourth quarter was down on the pre-tax income of $20 million in 4Q09, the full year pre-tax income of $161 million was considerably better than the $104 million for the full year 2009. Net income for the fourth quarter was $9 million, compared with $11 million in 4Q09.

"Clearly, 2010 was an excellent year for JetBlue," commented Dave Barger, JetBlue’s CEO. "Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding crewmembers, we successfully transitioned to a new customer service and reservations system, strengthened our network in key markets such as Boston and the Caribbean, and created new revenue opportunities through airline partnerships and other product enhancements. As we look ahead into 2011, we believe we are taking the right steps to continue to strengthen our airline and improve our competitive position."

JetBlue reported record fourth quarter operating revenues of $940 million despite severe weather in the US northeast, which reduced revenue by an estimated $30 million. For the full year, operating revenues totalled $3.78 billion, an increase of 14.8% over 2009’s $3.29 billion.

Yield per passenger mile in the fourth quarter was 12.11 cents, up 4.1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the fourth quarter 2010 increased 7.4% year-over-year to 9.91 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 5.9% year-over-year to 11.03 cents.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased by 14.9%, or $115 million, over the prior year period, while operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for 4Q10 increased 7.6% year-over-year to 10.34 cents. Excluding fuel, CASM increased 3.6% to 6.95 cents.

JetBlue ended the year with approximately $1 billion in unrestricted cash and short term investments.

"During 2010, we made several strategic investments in our infrastructure and network while maintaining one of the best liquidity positions in the US airline industry relative to our size," explained Ed Barnes, JetBlue’s CFO. "We believe our strong financial foundation coupled with a continued focus on improving our balance sheet and managing costs position us for continued success in 2011 and beyond."

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