JetBlue announced (05-Jan-2010) the launch of its expansion of services at San Francisco International Airport, with the addition of new flights to Boston, Long Beach and New York - see route changes table for more information. Together with its recently added nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale, and its daily service to Austin, Texas, JetBlue now offers 11 daily departures from SFO. JetBlue has added two daily nonstop services from SFO to its West Coast focus city at Long Beach Airport (for a total of five daily flights), a second daily nonstop flight to its focus city at Boston's Logan International Airport and a second daily nonstop flight to New York JFK. [more]
JetBlue expands in San Francisco
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Southwest Airlines and jetBlue take different paths to sustaining balance sheet strength
At nearly 46 years old and 17 years old, respectively, Southwest and jetBlue approach their financial priorities differently. jetBlue is in the process of buying a certain level of aircraft off lease to reduce debt and raise its levels of unencumbered aircraft. Southwest is concluding a hefty investment in a long overdue overhaul of its reservations system and making other significant technology investments.
Each airline also has a different capital allocation strategy. Southwest has engaged in some level of shareholder returns since the 1990s, whereas jetBlue’s shareholder return strategy is just starting to take shape – the airline is reaching a point in its leverage performance where it can contemplate more meaningful levels of shareholder returns in the medium term.
One area where Southwest and jetBlue hold similar visions is balance sheet strength, and the airlines have similar leverage goals: to support capex commitments, maintain manageable debt levels, and expand or sustain return to shareholders.
jetBlue Airways: confident of long term margin performance, despite short term RASM pressure
jetBlue Airways feels confident about its unit revenue trajectory, even as its 1Q2017 performance in that metric will be weaker than at some of its larger industry peers. The company has stopped short of predicting when its unit revenue will turn positive, opting not to set expectations that could fail to materialise.
Still, jetBlue believes its current and future network composition will position the airline to bolster its revenue generation, along with contribution from its Mint premium product, branded credit card pacts and fare bundles.
The company remains confident it can deliver competitive margins at growth rates in the high single digits for the near term. The majority of jetBlue’s growth centres on its focus cities, where it holds dominant positions. It continues to build out Boston and Fort Lauderdale, touting its ability to leverage its strong position in those markets to drive revenue.
For the past several years jetBlue has undertaken numerous initiatives to build up its corporate base, ranging from making its schedule offering attractive in Boston to the creation of Mint. The gamble on Mint has paid off, and helped jetBlue capture significant corporate share in Boston. But jetBlue fundamentally remains weighted toward leisure passengers, and the company believes a higher leisure passenger base should help it to maximise returns.