JetBlue Airways Corporation reported an encouraging 14.3% year-over-year increase in traffic for the month of December. Airline traffic is measured in revenue passenger miles, which is the measure of one mile flown by one passenger.
On a year-over-year basis, the measure of available seats at JetBlue grew 17.1% and the percentage of those seats filled with passengers was reduced to 80.2%.
Despite the volatility in fuel prices, fiscal 2011 ended on a positive note for the low-cost airlines compared to industry movers like Delta and United Continental, mainly due to their low-cost structure.
At a juncture where major air carriers are struggling with surging operating costs, domestic airlines like JetBlue have also shown greater efficiency in managing its cost structure.
JetBlue will defer the delivery of 8 airbuses from 2014 and 2015 to 2017, convert 30 A320 delivery positions to A321s, and purchase 40 fuel-efficient A320neos beginning 2018 that will be allocated within its capital expenditure over a long-term period. Given these changes and an average fleet age of only 5.9 years, we believe that JetBlue remains one of the youngest carriers to possess the most fuel efficient fleet among its peers.
The company is also expanding its network footprint in two major growth regions, Boston in New York and the Caribbean in Latin America. JetBlue has consolidated its position as the largest airline serving Boston Logan International Airport by connecting approximately 42 destinations. Given more demand in these regions, JetBlue plans to add flights to existing and new routes, thus enhancing JetBlue’s network.