JetBlue Airways is counting on more than low fares to make its ledgers jet-black. The carrier offers one-class service -- with leather seats, satellite TV from DIRECTV, satellite radio from XM, and movies -- to more than 32 million passengers a year, and taking them to more than 90 cities. It has 825 daily flights in more than 25 US states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and about a dozen countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. Most of its flights arrive or depart from Boston; Los Angeles; New York; Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. JetBlue's fleet of more than 190 aircraft consists mainly of Airbus A320s and A321s but also includes Embraer 190s.
JetBlue flies to more than 90 cities with 825 daily flights to 87 cities in 17 countries throughout the Americas, with one-third of its route network in the Caribbean and Latin America. It concentrates primarily on the cities of Boston; New York; Long Beach, California; Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The US represents nearly 70% of total sales, while Latin America and the Caribbean account for 30%.
The New York-based carrier is the largest domestic airline at New York's JFK International Airport -- the US's biggest travel market. Operating primarily out of Terminal 5, or T5, JetBlue also serves New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, New York's LaGuardia Airport, Newburgh, New York's Stewart International Airport, and White Plains, New York's Westchester County Airport.
The company operates a fleet consisting of 13 Airbus A321 aircraft, 130 Airbus A320 aircraft and 60 Embraer 190 aircraft. Its in-flight entertainment system include 36 channels of free DIRECTV, 100 channels of free SiriusXM satellite radio and premium movie channel offerings from JetBlue Features, a source of first run films.
Sales and Marketing
JetBlue's primary and preferred distribution channel to customers is its own site, www.jetblue.com. The company participates in several major GDSs and online travel agents. Advertising expense was reported as $64 million in 2014, $61 million in 2013, and $57 million in 2012.
JetBlue has experienced unprecedented revenue growth since 2009. In 2014 its revenues jumped by 7% due to higher passenger revenues mainly attributable to increased capacity and yield. Ancillary revenue continues to be a source of significant revenue growth, primarily driven by customer demand for JetBlue's Even More products as well as changes to its fee structure. Other revenues grew mainly from fees, Getaways sales, the marketing component of TrueBlue point sales, and on-board product sales.
The company’s net income was increased by 139% in 2014 due to a gain on the sale of subsidiary LiveTV and an increase in income tax expense.
Jet Blue’s operating cash flow increased by 20% that year.
Traditionally focused on the leisure traveler, JetBlue has been developing more service for the business customer to offset the seasonal limitations of the vacation market. Also to develop more business beyond vacation travelers, JetBlue has been growing its operations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LACA), which has a strong presence of visiting-friends-and-relatives (VFR) travelers in addition to vacationers. LACA now accounts for about 30% of JetBlue's revenues.
In many ways JetBlue has taken a lesson from -- and set its sights on -- Southwest Airlines, the guru of the low-fare airline world. Like Southwest, JetBlue works to keep costs down, eliminating amenities such as airport lounges and full meal service. It also relies on electronic ticketing and a non-unionized staff. JetBlue departs from the Southwest model, however, by assigning seats and by operating more than one type of aircraft. The company also prefers to expand its operations organically -- through its operations and partnerships, rather than through acquisitions.
In 2015 JetBlue Airways and Icelandair filed an application with the U. Government to enter into a bilateral codeshare partnership that will offer customers easy connections between the two airlines' networks with a focus on gateways in Boston, New York/JFK and Reykjavik.
That year JetBlue also announced plans to add a new destination to its expanding Latin America and Caribbean network, at Quito, Ecuador's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (to serve a once daily service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport).
In 2015 the company began retrofitting its Airbus aircraft with Sharklets, a blended wingtip device designed to improve the aircraft’s aerodynamics.
In 2014 JetBlue deferred 13 Airbus A321 aircraft orders and eight Airbus A320 aircraft orders from 2016-2020 to 2020-2023. Of these deferrals, ten A321 aircraft orders were converted to Airbus A321 new engine option (A321neo) orders and five Airbus A320neo aircraft orders were converted to Airbus A321neo aircraft orders. It also converted three Airbus A320 aircraft orders in 2016 to Airbus A321 aircraft orders. At the end of 2014, the company had 127 aircraft on order, which are scheduled for delivery through 2023.
That year the company took delivery of nine Airbus A321 aircraft, all equipped with it Mint layout (16 fully lie-flat seats, four of which are in suites with a privacy door, a first in the US domestic market).
The company expanded its portfolio of commercial airline partnerships throughout the year and a code-sharing agreement with current partner El Al Airlines. In 2014 South African Airways also joined the TrueBlue loyalty program. During 2014 it entered into eight new interline agreements and had 38 airline commercial partnerships at the end of 2014.
That year, the company completed the construction of T5i, an international arrivals facility that expanded its T5 footprint at JFK International Airport.
In 2014 JetBlue sold its only subsidiary, in-flight entertainment system developer LiveTV, to Thales Group for $400 million. It hopes to benefit from the reduced operating costs and capital expenditures related to not managing LiveTV as a subsidiary while still using many of its products and services.
In 2013 the company restructured its long-term order book and deferred 24 Embraer 190 aircraft from 2014-2018 to 2020-2022, converted 18 Airbus A320 positions to larger A321s and added an incremental order for 35 A321 aircraft. The company took delivery of the Airbus A321, a variant of the A320.