Pilot challenges trigger big headwinds for JetBlue

Premium Analysis

Predictions by some US major operators that mid-size airlines could have trouble retaining pilots appear to be materialising as JetBlue Airways is battling high levels of pilot attrition.

The airline is taking steps to stem the flow of pilots to other operators, but is acknowledging that it is tough to predict when attrition will slow. Amid that uncertainty JetBlue is planning more conservatively for the short term.

Indeed, an unfortunate combination of staffing issues, air traffic control delays and unfavourable weather conditions triggered major operational disruptions for JetBlue in early Apr-2022.

And now JetBlue has pulled back on ambitious growth plans for the year to restore its operational reliability.

At the same time, the airline has upped its unit cost guidance significantly to cover the expense of that restoration.

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