JetBlue has reported a net income of $64 million for Q2 2021, marking a return to profit for the airline. Second quarter results were better than most analysts had expected, with the airline bringing in $1.5 billion revenue over the three-month period.
Profit of $64 million for the quarter
JetBlue is back in the black after reporting a profit of $64 million for the second quarter of 2021. Following other U.S carriers which reported profits for Q2, including Alaska and Delta, the airline is firmly on the path to recovery.
Robin Hayes, CEO at JetBlue, said,
“In the second quarter, we saw strong signs that consumer confidence and travel demand is returning, with second quarter revenue doubling compared to the first quarter driven by pent-up demand.”
However, excluding special items, which includes the U.S. government’s payroll support program (PSP), JetBlue would have made a loss of $206 million. The airline reported operating expenses of $1.4 billion for the quarter, with $366 million of aid and other special items deducted.
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Revenue and load factor up
The airline’s revenue for Q2 2021 was significantly higher than the same period last year. This quarter, JetBlue managed revenues of $1.5 billion compared to its Q2 2020 total of $215 million.
CEO Hayes added,
“As we turn to recovery, we continued to generate positive cash from operations in the second quarter, and we expect continued improvement in our operating performance as we progress towards a full recovery.”
JetBlue achieved an average load factor of 79% across Q2, but this had risen to the mid-80 mark by the end of the quarter.
Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer, said,
“We are pleased to see further month-on-month improvement into the peak summer months, with demand momentum across all of our geographies. We ended the quarter with load factors in the mid-80s with June capacity largely back to pre-pandemic levels, compared to an average load factor in the mid-60s in the first quarter.”
With the typically busy summer season upon us, Geraghty is even more optimistic about the outlook for Q3 this year, saying,
“We expect unit revenue to continue to improve on top of increasing capacity, with load factors in the mid-to-high 80s this summer. We have seen days with average load factors in the 90s.”
Net debt now below pre-pandemic levels
JetBlue also made significant steps over the last quarter to reduce its net debt. Going into Q2 with net debts of $1.2 billion, the airline ended the quarter with its net debt down to $900 million, lower than its pre-pandemic levels. This included repaying a term loan of $722 million and $89 million in regularly scheduled debt and finance lease obligations.
“We are now squarely focused on repairing our balance sheet, lowering our total cost of debt, and growing our unencumbered asset base. We reduced our net debt by over 50% to under $1 billion dollars at the end of June. Both our net debt and weighted average cost of debt now sit below pre-pandemic levels.”
The airline’s adjusted debt to capital was at 55%, and it had approximately $3.7 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments by the end of the quarter.
JetBlue recently revealed the schedule of some of the new routes from its partnership with American Airlines. The airline is expanding its offerings out of New York JFK, LaGuardia and Boston. JetBlue’s renowned Mint cabins will also be coming to more routes in the future.
Are you happy to see JetBlue running a profit again? How do you see the rest of the year shaping up for the airline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.