JetBlue CEO David Barger at CAPA’s Airlines in Transition conference in Dublin said (12-Apr-2013) JetBlue is working with other carriers to have Airbus commit to a sharklet retrofit programme by the Paris Air Show in Jun-2013. JetBlue has already retrofitted some A320s, but these are newer A320s that can support the retrofit programme, which older A320s cannot.
JetBlue wants Airbus to commit to sharklet retrofit programme by Paris Air Show
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LCC jetBlue sets ambitious cost targets; quiets critics over staying power of its business model
Since 2014 jetBlue Airways has delivered marked revenue and margin improvement through several new revenue initiatives, including a new fare segmentation scheme and a co-branded credit card deal. During 2015 the airline delivered a revenue unit performance that outperformed the US industry, which itself largely struggled to obtain positive results in that metric.
But jetBlue admits that during that period it was lagging behind the US industry in cost performance; and although the airline has made progress in improving its unit costs, jetBlue holds the view that it has more to accomplish in order to maintain a competitive cost structure for delivering its low fare, medium frills product.
The company has outlined plans to keep its cost growth from flat to 1% from 2018 to 2020, and aims to shed USD250 million to USD300 million through savings by 2020 – in maintenance, corporate, distribution and airport operations. However, the airline is cautioning that certain elements – including a seat densification programme and aircraft delivery schedules – are creating some choppiness in its mid-term unit cost forecast.
jetBlue Airways keeps long-term cost performance in sight as US pricing trends start to stabilise
After outperforming the industry throughout most of 2015 in its unit revenue performance, jetBlue Airways has posted negative results throughout 2016, driven by a weaker pricing environment in the US market. Unlike other airlines, jetBlue does not provide much forward guidance about unit revenue, and is not venturing to offer a timeframe for a return to positive unit revenue. For 4Q2016 the airline is facing pressure from the timing of the Christmas holiday, and the effects of suspended operations due to hurricane Matthew in Oct-2016.
jetBlue is noticing similar trends to those at other US airlines – generally, close-in bookings and pricing began to improve in 3Q2016. Most US airlines are planning lower year-on-year capacity growth in 2017; these include jetBlue, which expects its supply to drop a couple of points below 2016 levels. jetBlue’s 2017 capacity will still run higher than that of some of the larger and more mature US airlines, but the company always stresses that it remains in growth mode, reflected in the introduction of eleven new routes from late 2016 through 1H2016.