JetBlue forecasts return to profit in third quarter, holds back on growth as costs surge

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JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 passenger aircraft landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Nik Oiko | LightRocket | Getty Images

JetBlue Airways said Tuesday that it expects to return to its first profit since the pandemic began this quarter and that it would remain cautious on growth while costs surge.

The New York-based airline lost $188 million in the second quarter on record revenue of close to $2.45 billion as it grappled with surging costs for fuel, labor and other expenses.

JetBlue’s third-quarter capacity will be down as much as 3% compared with 2019, a sign the carrier is holding back on growth like other airlines trying to improve reliability after a rocky start to a big summer travel season.

“We reported a record-breaking revenue result for the second quarter, and we’re on pace to top it again here in the third quarter and drive our first quarterly profit since the start of the pandemic,” CEO Robin Hayes said in an earnings release.

JetBlue last week announced it had finally reached a deal to acquire ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion in cash after a long bidding war with discounter Frontier Airlines. Frontier’s agreement to combine with Spirit fell apart hours before the JetBlue-Spirit deal was announced.

JetBlue executives will face questions about the deal and travel demand on a 10 a.m. call Tuesday.

 

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