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JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways is an American low-cost airline owned by JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU). The company is headquartered in the Forest Hills neighborhood of New York City, New York, and has major hubs located at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston's Logan International Airport.

On August 29, 2001 JetBlue began a focus city operation at Long Beach Municipal Airport near Los Angeles, California, and another at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts in 2004. It also has major operations at Oakland International Airport in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as at Washington Dulles International Airport. The airline mainly serves destinations in the United States, along with flights to the Caribbean region.

JetBlue also maintains a corporate office in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

JetBlue was one of only a few U.S. airlines that made a profit during the sharp downturn in airline travel following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Since its IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2002, JetBlue has become one of the most popular airline stocks in history and currently has a multi-billion dollar market capitalization. Financial results were very strong for the airline throughout the 2002-2004 years, and many analysts and journalists lauded the airline for its success. Also, the airline sector responded to jetBlue's market presence by starting mini-rival carriers: Delta Air Lines started Song, and United Airlines launched another rival called Ted.

As part of its commitment to providing high-quality inflight entertainment, in 2002 JetBlue acquired LiveTV, LLC for $41 million in cash and the retirement of $39 million of LiveTV debt. LiveTV equips JetBlue with 36 channels of live DirecTV television programming at every seat. Two years later, JetBlue announced it would add 100 channels of XM Satellite Radio, Fox TV programs and 20th Century Fox movies to its in-flight entertainment in 2004. The movies are free on flights to Santiago, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico where DirecTV service is not offered. Movies on all other flights cost $5.

As the airline continued to rake in record profits and break financial records, new planes allowed for additional route opportunities to be pursued. This included JetBlue's first international service, New York to the Dominican Republic on June 10, 2004. Additional service to the Bahamas in December 2004, and there are plans to begin service to Bermuda effective May 4, 2006.

With new routes, new planes, and new profit levels, JetBlue was on top of the industry for much of 2003 and 2004. The airline's reputation, and stock price, was very good. However, trouble was on the horizon. For many years, some analysts had predicted that at a certain point, JetBlue's growth rate would become unsustainable. However, the airline continued to add planes and routes to the fleet at a brisk pace.

In 2004, JetBlue began running flights from New York's LaGuardia Airport and added service in 2005 to Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, thereby serving all three major New York area airports. Also in 2005, the company added service between JFK and Boston Logan with 10 daily flights using its new 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft.

In October 2005, JetBlue announced its quarterly profit plunged from US$8.1 million to $2.7 million largely due to rising fuel costs. In addition, the airline was struggling with their new aircraft, the Embraer 190. Operational issues, fuel prices, and low fares, JetBlue's hallmark, were bringing its financial performance down. In addition, with higher costs related to the airline's numerous amenities, JetBlue was becoming less competitive.

Regardless, the airline continued to plan for growth. It was announced that 36 new aircraft were scheduled for delivery in the year 2006. However, the next earnings report would bring the entire airline down to Earth.

In February 2006, JetBlue announced its first ever quarterly loss. For 4th quarter 2005, the airline bled $42.4 million, enough to make them unprofitable for the entire year of 2005. The loss was the airline's first since going public in 2002. In addition, JetBlue forecasted a loss for 2006, citing high fuel prices, operating inefficiency, and fleet costs. The airline faces financial problems, along with the results from deviating from its business plan by adding a second aircraft type, as we close out the decade.

JetBlue Airways has been the first US airline to start-up with more than $100 million dollars, first to offer 24 channels of live satellite TV, first US airline to introduce the "paperless cockpit", the first U.S. airline to install bullet-proof cockpit doors across the fleet, and was among the first US airlines to install security cameras in passenger cabin for the safety of crew and passengers

A complete list of destinations can be found at JetBlue destinations. JetBlue currently avoids flying routes which are in direct competition to other low-cost carriers, particularly Southwest Airlines. In doing so, the airline has achieved a near monopoly in Long Beach and is ranked number three in the New York market overall, with its 3 major airports. JetBlue flies to 33 destinations and will launch service to Richmond, Virginia in March 2006, Portland, Maine and Bermuda in May 2006, and Pittsburgh and Jacksonville in late June. Future plans call for expansion across the United States and into Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. JetBlue is now awaiting the grant to serve Cancun, Mexico. They are competing for the route against Delta Air Lines and USA 3000.
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