Posted on: 28 April 2015 by Mark Howells
JetBlue Airways has revealed its financial results for the first quarter 2015 (1Q15), including an operating income of $253 million compared with $41 million for the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14).Revenue passenger miles for 1Q15 increased 11.1% to 9.6 billion on a capacity increase of 9.6% from 1Q14, resulting in a first quarter load factor of 84.3%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for 1Q15 increased 4.5% year over year to 12.33 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 3.0% year over year to 13.34 cents.“JetBlue had a strong first quarter despite challenging winter weather conditions," remarked JetBlue’s CFO, Mark Powers. "As we look forward, we expect to implement the return accretive initiatives we outlined at Investor Day and improve the balance sheet while continuing to reinvest in our business.”These positive results came in as operating expenses for 1Q15 decreased 2.9%, or $38 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.9%, or $3 million, as JetBlue continued to reduce its debt. JetBlue's operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for 1Q15 decreased 11.3% year over year to 11.13 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, 1Q15 CASM decreased 1.9% to 7.95 cents.JetBlue has hedged approximately 20% of its second quarter 2015 projected fuel requirements using a combination of jet fuel swaps and collars. Based on the fuel curve as of 20 April, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges and fuel taxes, of $2.11 in the second quarter. For the balance of the year beyond the second quarter, JetBlue has hedged approximately 14% of projected fuel consumption.For the second quarter of 2015, CASM excluding fuel and profit sharing is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM for the full year 2015 is forecasted to grow between zero and two percent year over year. Capacity is expected to increase between 5.5% and 7.5% in the second quarter 2015 and between 7.0% and 9.0% for the full year, in line with prior guidance.