JetBlue Cutting 40% Of Flights, Deferring New Planes, Reveals How Much Revenue Has Fallen

Filed Under: JetBlue

JetBlue has become the latest airline to announce route cuts, and to reveal just how dire of a situation they’re in. These updates come in the form of a note to employees, which JetBlue has published for the public to see as well.

JetBlue describes the situation to employees, noting that they’re not going to sugarcoat it, and that “demand continues to worsen, and the writing is on the wall that travel will not bounce back quickly.”

How bad is JetBlue’s situation?

JetBlue revenue has fallen to less than $4 million per day

To give a sense of how bad things are, JetBlue reveals that:

  • In March 2019, the company took in an average of about $22 million per day from bookings and ancillary fees
  • In the last several days, the company has taken in under $4 million per day, while also issuing $20 million per day in credits to customers for canceled bookings

As the airline describes it, this is being driven by fewer new bookings, much lower fares, and a customer cancel rate more than 10x the norm. $4 million per day doesn’t come anywhere close to covering JetBlue’s daily expenses.

JetBlue reducing flying by at least 40%

JetBlue has revealed that they intend to cut capacity by at least 40% in April and May, and also expect substantial cuts in June and July. While no numbers have been given, the airline also expects to ground some aircraft, which will impact hours for frontline employees.

The company will be notifying customers of cancelations in a phased approach so that they don’t overwhelm customer support as they continue to receive exponentially more calls than they ever have before.

JetBlue slowing down new aircraft deliveries

While details are still being worked out, JetBlue notes that in collaboration with Airbus, they are looking for the opportunity to slow aircraft deliveries and reduce aircraft pre-delivery payments, as a way of reducing capital expenditures.

The airline will also defer the four previously used airplanes that were announced earlier this year. JetBlue has nearly 150 aircraft on order, including 70 A220-300s, 50 A321neos, 13 A321LRs, and 13 A32XLRs.

JetBlue was planning on launching flights to Europe in 2021 using A321LRs, so we’ll have to wait and see how those plans are impacted by this situation.

JetBlue increasing cash reserves

With a drastic decrease in revenue, JetBlue is having to dip into cash savings. The airline came into this with about $1.2 billion, but expenses total millions of dollars each day. The company has secured a new liquidity facility, allowing the airline to borrow $1 billion.

Even with that extra credit line, the company will need significant government support to get through these losses.

Other capital and operational spending cuts

JetBlue is reducing spending where they can, with the CEO taking a 50% pay cut during the crisis. On top of that, JetBlue has paused more than 75% of projects related to investing in infrastructure, technology, and real estate.

JetBlue is calling on the government to help

As is the case with other US airlines, JetBlue is calling for a government bailout of the airline industry. As that’s described:

“We have been coordinating with Airlines for America (A4A) and other U.S. airlines to ensure government leaders understand the threat to our global economy if air travel is not supported. When this pandemic passes – and it will – air travel will play a major role in getting life back to normal and supporting economic recovery. We are going to need significant government help to do that.”

Bottom line

So far JetBlue’s cuts aren’t as deep as some other airlines. What I find most interesting though is that they’ve given some concrete numbers to show just how bad the situation is — they’ve gone from an average of $22 million in revenue per day, to under $4 million in revenue plus $20 million in canceled flights in the past several days…

Comments
  1. @Sung, great idea! I think airlines are too focused on cutting costs, though or already have prices they are obligated to pay.

    Bailouts come in low interest loans, right? Not free money. If it was free money our money would get inflated like crazy.

  2. @Sung

    LOL, I wish one of AA DL UA will hire you for management positions. At least I will know which airline will “definitely” go bankrupt.

    Do you even know all those airline (used to) hires 1 finance person who does nothing but to monitor and hedge fuel. (position probably got downsized few years ago)
    They hedge both short and long term.
    And they hedge to control operating cost not to bet on oils, you gamble those on Wall Street.

  3. Pray for JetBlue. We need this competitive force in the aviation industry.

    I am grateful JetBlue does not exposure to the European markets yet.

  4. @Sung

    I really don’t expect much expertise from a travel blog.
    But this is as useless as saying everyone should play the lotto, you will be a billionaire.
    And I really don’t mind at times like this. I need as much entertainment as I can get.

    @Sharon
    JetBlue is the airline who started the trend to screw passengers who bought tickets before the virus. They are the first to try hoarding cash. I bet they have the weakest financial and if they don’t survive (no bailout for you) they will get broken up to pieces and eaten up by AA or DL. Sorry UA this is not for you, EWR isn’t New York, LOL.

  5. How much has Jetblue spent on stock buybacks over the last 10 years instead of saving the money for this inevitable type of event? If the government bails them they must pay back all of the money plus high interest to prevent this from happening in the future.

  6. They should have merged when the had the opportunity. Their overstaffed e.g four supervisors one GM thirty five employees small operations. Salaries are way too high . Too many lawsuits employees and passengers. Prior to Covid deep seated issues.

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