JetBlue Airways Corporation reported that its first quarter 2021 revenue was down 61 percent from the first quarter of 2019 because of the pandemic’s impact.
In an earnings press release, management said the decline was on the lower end of its past expectations for the quarter of a decline of between 61 and 64 percent.
“While we initially anticipated trends improving during the quarter, we saw a bigger than expected step up in demand for leisure travel beginning in mid-February,” JetBlue President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said in the release.
All in, Jet Blue reported an adjusted loss per share of $1.48 on $733 million in total operating revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2021. The results exceeded analyst expectations of a $1.69 loss per share on $682.79 million in revenues.
“Although our EPS [earnings per share] remains in negative territory, we have seen meaningful progress in the demand recovery, and have started to gain momentum from the groundwork we have laid to emerge from the crisis as a stronger JetBlue,” Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes said in the release.
JetBlue said it concluded the first quarter of 2021 with about $3.2 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.
The airline flies passengers throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean and says it is a “leading carrier” in San Juan, Orlando, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Boston.
In March, JetBlue rolled out a new travel website designed to allow customers who have purchased a flight on the airline reserve the rest of their trip.
JetBlue’s earnings come as United Airlines reported that Q1 2021 operating revenue was down 66 percent from Q1 2019, but the air carrier reported improved average core bash burn from the past quarter.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in an earnings press release that the air carrier was “encouraged by the strong evidence of pent-up demand for air travel and our continued ability to nimbly match” that demand.
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