JetBlue Airways Reports December Traffic


Aug 20, 2002
I'll put my two cents worth on these numbers.

I think overall the information shows that jetBlue is still producing strong results in its operating numbers. The areas that caught my attention most were growth in traffic (in comparison to growth in capacity), and the improvement in yields (growth in RPMs over growth in ASMs) YOY.

For December 2002, B6 had traffic growth of 87.3% (YOY) and capacity growth of 74.4%. This is a positive trend and a healthy traffic/capacity relationship.

What it basically means is that despite a lot of capacity growth, there has been even greater growth in traffic. I think this speaks volumes about the strength of B6's business model and the execution of that model at an operational level. Despite the flat domestic market for passenger growth, jetBlue has been able to add new passengers along with strong growth in capacity. No other competitor has been able to do the same.

Don't forget, there were many naysayers commenting on this very issue earlier in the year when B6 made a big move into California with its LGB-OAK & LAS schedule expansion, and the ensuing fare war with LUV.

It now appears that the numbers were not nearly as bad as the initial reports claimed, or there was even stronger growth in other areas of jetBlue's system which compensated for the "poorer" performance in California. My inital feel is that California (LGB) did much better than anticipated, since the airline was already operating at a very high load factor rate in its biggest markets on the East coast, and therefore there was little "extra" capacity to pick up the slack out West.

Also, since the overall market has been flat, this means that jetBlue's growth in traffic is happening at the expense of competitor marketshare. Additonally, because traffic growth has exceeded capacity growth, the airline has been able to show an improvement in its overall system load factor percentage, of over 83%.

Finally, jetBlue's yield trend looks like it will improve for 2002. This is one area that I believed could use some improvement, and it now look like the airline is making a move to fix that area also. This is evidenced by the relationship in the growth in RPMs (108%) versus the growth in ASMs (95.8%) YOY.

It looks like jetBlue will meet its fourth quarter numbers and also be nicely profitable for 2002. The employees at B6 can look forward to another sizeable profit share check to reward their hard work and great service to their customers.