JetBlue posts $13 million profit

boscenter

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp. (NasdaqNM:JBLU - news), the newly public start-up airline flying out of Kennedy Airport, posted a first-quarter profit of $13 million, joining low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV - news) in bucking the trend of huge industry losses.

JetBlue said its earnings per share were 34 cents compared with $6.7 million or 21 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Operating revenues rose 109 percent to $133.4 million in the quarter from a year earlier.

The nation's top eight U.S. carriers, all much larger than JetBlue, posted a combined $2.4 billion net loss in the first quarter on lower air travel demand since the Sept. 11 attacks. Only No. 7 Southwest had a profit, earning $21.4 million in the quarter.

JetBlue went public April 11, raising $158 million by selling shares at $27 each in a hugely oversubscribed offering. On Wednesday, shares closed on Nasdaq trading at $45.60. It was the hottest IPO on the roster this year.
 

BigFlyr

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Don't know if there is any truth to this but I heard that JetBlue is so profitable because they have yet to make a payment on their new airplanes. Airbus is known to make deals you can't refuse but this would be entirely unfair to Boeing and the airlines that fly Boeings, don't you think?
 

boscenter

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I have heard stories both ways... don't know quite what to believe as I haven't seen any evidence supporting either view.
 

ACWild

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I'm no financial expert, but I think they went public so they can raise cash for things like aircraft payments, (in addition to making themselves filthy rich).
 

boscenter

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Yeah you're right that's all an IPO really is--it's a fundraiser, with a bit more structure and rules.
 

Jeff G

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Please, please, make this rumor die. JetBlue makes payments on all of its aircraft, either leased or owned. Payments are not deferred. There is no sweetheart financing. The only break JB gets on aircraft purchases is a volume discount for buying 70+ airplanes that are identically equipped. That's all, and any airline could do the same. Like it or not, those profits are legitimate. If you have further questions, read the prospectus. JB is a public company now and would have to disclose that kind of thing. Please quit spreading this rumor around.
 

SpeedRacer

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Jeff G.

Q. - How many A320's does Jetblue currently have and how many are they buying?

Speed
 

Jeff G

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JetBlue currently has 25 aircraft in the fleet, and another 57 are on firm order through 2007. We have already arranged an additional aircraft to lease in 2003. That means we'll definitely have at least 83 aircraft by 2007. We also have options for another 30 aircraft through 2009. In addition to all that, we have purchase rights on another 19 aircraft. If all options and rights were exercised, that would make 132 aircraft in the fleet by 2009. Hope this helps.
 

SpeedRacer

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Thanks for the info. Wow, that'll be quite a fleet and very nice on the inside too.

SpeedRacer
 

surplus1

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Nice Company Jeff G - Good Luck

Now why don't all you self serving mainline gurus jump all over the JetBlue pilots, tell them how unqualified, uneducated and inferior they are and complain about how they're stealing YOUR flying and degrading the profession because they work for peanuts?

Why don't you tell them that? Any chance it's because they happen to fly A320's and not CL65's?

Jeff G - Say your prayers regularly and hope to God that some superior "major airline" doesn't swallow your company and ruin it by making it like theirs. If they do, the only thing you'll get out of it is membership in the whiner's club and a wallet card that says "I'm better than you."
 
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Jeff G

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Surplus1,

That's the only scenario that could keep me up at night. I can't think of a better way to wreck this company than by having a major airline buy it. Lord knows they can't do it by competing at the rate they're going. Fortunately, nobody can afford to buy us right now. :D
 

skydash

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Jetblue

Except Southwest,who could buy anyone!
 

Jetstone

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JB

Surplus, you wouldn't have a little chip on your shoulder would you? Lighten up Francis!
 

Jeff G

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JetBlue just announced that they've converted two options to orders. They'll be delivered this year and next. That brings up the total aircraft in the fleet to at least 85 in 2007. We will have 50 aircraft by the end of 2003.
 

surplus1

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Re: JB

Jetstone said:
Surplus, you wouldn't have a little chip on your shoulder would you? Lighten up Francis!
Big chip, put there by the mainliners after my company was swallowed.

Tired of their attitudes, don't plan to take them sitting down. Sometime you have to fight fire with fire. Will lighten up just as soon as they do.
 

FlyDeltasJets

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Re: Nice Company Jeff G - Good Luck

surplus1 said:
Now why don't all you self serving mainline gurus jump all over the JetBlue pilots, tell them how unqualified, uneducated and inferior they are and complain about how they're stealing YOUR flying and degrading the profession because they work for peanuts?

Surplus,

I don't know if I am a "self-serving mainline guru", and I never once told anyone that they were "unqualified, etc".

I have noticed, however, on your last couple of posts that you have mentioned the so-called "second tier" airlines and the threat that they are to mainline pilots. You found it ironic that none of us have mentioned this threat. I think Jeff will back me up that I have stated many times that I think it is a threat to our profession when any airline competes on the basis of employee salaries. I have mentioned again and again that wages are the largest airline expense, and low-fare airlines are usually able to offer such unreasonably low fares primarily due to the fact that they pay their employees less than the other airlines. That is troubling to me, and I have stated so on many occasions, which prompted many discussions.

I do not want to repeat any of those discussions today, as they have been done to death! I only posted this to set the record straight that some of us have noticed the threat, and our attention is not, as you seem to think, focused only on rj's.

I want to make it clear that, despite what some think of us, I have never looked down on anyone because of the size of his airplane, or what airline he flies for. I know that all of us want the same thing, to enjoy flying airplanes and be paid well for it! We just have taken different routes to this end. I have been very lucky (before the furlough) to have reached an airline at the top of the pay scale. I see factors which threaten that payscale. That frightens me, because I firmly believe that pilots deserve to be very well paid. I love to see pilots at any airline achieve great contracts, and I wish all of you out there the best in our continuing fight to protect an improve our profession. I know that we cannot always agree on the best method to do so, but I believe that we all want to leave the job better than it was when we arrived.
 

TurboS7

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I know for a fact that JB has had all payments defered for the first three years after delivery. Check into your facts and check out the lease agreement with Airbus. There is nothing wrong with it, it is a good deal and a must to negociate.
 

surplus1

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FlyDeltasJets said:


Surplus,

I don't know if I am a "self-serving mainline guru", and I never once told anyone that they were "unqualified, etc".
FlyDeltaJets,

Apologies to you personally. You and I have engaged in many long conversations here and I've told you before that I appreciated your willingness to debate and the way you handle yourself.

You are however, an exception and not the rule. Particularly in your own pilot group.

As I don't have to tell you, there are many other forums in which these issues are discussed, some public, some private. In almost every one of them, including this one, regional pilots have been called everything under the sun. That includes, uneducated, wannabees, unqualified, shady backrgounds, dui's, etc., etc.. Always by pilots of major airlines, noteably Delta, who don't like the fact that we are flying RJs. I wish it were not so, but it is.

I agree also that you have been one of the few (among 10,000 at your airline alone) that has ever mentioned a JBlue, AirTran, Spirit, etc., as a cause of your low wage concerns. 98% of the time, the attack is focused on the RJ and its pilots accused of taking your jobs. You have had a few other mainline pilots agree with you, but mostly there is silence with respect to what I call the 2nd tier airlines. I think in fairness even you will agree with that.

I think you should be far more concerned with the "discount" airlines and their low wages because they operate the same equipment that you do. As a matter of fact, at least 3 of you (UAL, DAL, AAA) have gone so far as to create B scales withing your own airline in an effort to compete, not protect or protest. Some of that B Scale remains in place at Delta today. Perhaps the fact that you (pl) can't control them, but think you can control the RJ is the reason. The weakest animal in the flock is usually the one the predator attacks.

So, If I failed to acknowledge your exception to the rules and thereby included you in the generality, I'm sorry. Although I strive for perfection, alas, it has eluded me. I admit that is somewhat of an excuse, but it is also true. Would you settle for calling it a "reason"?

I want to make it clear that, despite what some think of us, I have never looked down on anyone because of the size of his airplane, or what airline he flies for.
Again, you personally get credit for this because it is due. The overwhelming majority of your mainline peers are not due this credit and won't get it from me unless they change their attitudes. Within our labor union, the attitude of which I spoke is more rife than anywhere. If in the future you decide to participate actively in the union you'll have a chance to see it first hand.

I do think we ultimately have the same objective, i.e., the well being of ALL airline pilots. However, when your peers fail to acknowledge that I too am an airline pilot it annoys me. Especially since I've had the good fortune to be one far longer than most of those who think otherwise.

I don't think most regional pilots have taken a "different route". Most have not yet reached the milepost on the highway, but the route is the same and so is the destination.

Yes, you are "lucky" to be where you are (the furlough is only a temporary thing. Remember, I've been furloughed too.) just as I was lucky to do what I have done. In reality we are all in the same boat. The sad part is that we row in opposite directions far too often. The boat is going in circles.

I see factors which threaten that payscale. That frightens me, because I firmly believe that pilots deserve to be very well paid.
I see those factors too and like you I think they are dangerous. Where we disagree is what to do about it. I believe that we cannot defend the profession by attempting to eliminate a significant portion of it. We must defend ALL of the profession, not just the top rung. If we do this, it follows the top of the ladder will also be protected.

When we try to protect the top of the ladder by sawing off the bottom, the result is simple: whomever is on the top now, will fall. I feel we are in that position now or close to it. The mainline guys are doing the sawing and the ladder will ultimately come down on them. That is why I see a need for a change in methodology.

I know that we cannot always agree on the best method to do so, but I believe that we all want to leave the job better than it was when we arrived.
It is true that we cannot always agree FDJ, but this issue is so critical to our general welfare that we must find consensus, even if it requires compromise. If we fail to do so, we will NOT leave the job better than when we arrived.

Best regards,
 

JayDub

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First of all...

Surplus1, well said.

TurboS7; you are wrong. Check the prospectus for the IPO under "Aircraft rent" for 2001. You don't pay that kind of money for something you are getting for free. How else can I explain this to you??? We paid x amount for aircraft that according to you we did not pay. Please cite references, and dates, at the very least, as to how the prospectus is wrong.

FlyDeltaJets,

Although you and I disagree you seem to me to be a "bu## &&it walks, money talks" kind of person. Here are the simple facts: I was hired by jetBlue on April 23, 2001. I am presently making $113.oo/hr. Are the people hired by your company (give or take a month) on April 23, 2001 making $113.00/hr? If not, I think your company is the one that is not paying professional wages. Please cite specific examples if you respond.

Respectfully,

JayDub
 

Jeff G

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I know for a fact that JB has had all payments defered for the first three years after delivery. Check into your facts and check out the lease agreement with Airbus. There is nothing wrong with it, it is a good deal and a must to negociate.
I'll take it a step further from JayDub. JB doesn't even lease from Airbus, and only about half the planes are leased anyway. The leased aircraft come from IFLC, Wells Fargo, and Mitsui. The other aircraft are mortgaged, and there's not a bank in the world willing to give an airline a no-money-down, no-payments-until-2004 loan on a $50 million asset. Get real. "I know for a fact" that you don't have your facts straight this time.

I think Jeff will back me up that I have stated many times that I think it is a threat to our profession when any airline competes on the basis of employee salaries. I have mentioned again and again that wages are the largest airline expense, and low-fare airlines are usually able to offer such unreasonably low fares primarily due to the fact that they pay their employees less than the other airlines.
FlyDeltasJets, we don't often agree, but you're a gentleman in the field of battle. I'll go along with you partway on this point. Startup carriers do pay less in general. JetBlue does also, on a strict comparison of pay scales. But JetBlue pilots advance much faster to the upper rungs than at more established carriers, so the impact to the individual, and therefore the "profession" is negligible. In addition, the company gets the benefit of not having anyone at the higher end of the longevity scale, because, well, nobody has been here long enough! It's a lot to expect that a startup company will spring fully formed into existence, complete with a major airline contract and employees at the 12 year payscale, all in order to play fair with the likes of Delta. I think Delta has enough advantages as an established carrier that the lower overall wages paid at the startup only makes a small dent overall. I'm afraid there's more going on in the current airline industry than just lower wages = lower fares. There's also better service = higher loads. That's where Delta, et al may need to play catchup, rather than wring their hands over big, mean JetBlue with its 24 airplanes.
 
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