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 80 cities with 800 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 85 cities with 850 daily flights in more than two dozen US states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Mexico, and about a dozen countries 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 71% of total sales, while Latin America and the Caribbean account for 29%.
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, in 2014 the company expects to complete the construction of T5i, an international arrivals facility that will expand its T5 footprint. 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 four 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 a $61 million in 2013, $57 million in 2012, and $57 million in 2011.
JetBlue has experienced unprecedented revenue growth since 2009. In 2013 its revenues jumped by 9% 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 increased due higher fees revenues, thanks to a mid-year change in fee structure.
Net income increased by 31% in 2013 primarily due to higher sales and a decline in interest expense partially offset by an increase in operating expenses (including aircraft fuel and related taxes and salaries, wages, and benefits).
In 2013 operating cash flow increased by $60 million to $758 million due to cash generated from an increase in air traffic liability and deferred income taxes.
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 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.
That year the company launched Fly-Fi in-flight internet service with connectivity speed significantly faster than those offered by other U.S. airlines.