JetBlue Airways Corp. on Tuesday issued an optimistic outlook on travel throughout the holiday season after saying it reached a “milestone” in its recovery despite growing fears of a recession.
“We’re confident in the demand backdrop for the year-end holiday peaks,” JetBlue Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said in the company’s latest earnings report.
The comments came as the carrier reported a $57 million profit for the three-month period ending in September. Its revenue also rose 30% to $2.56 billion from the same period a year ago as demand continued.
JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes said the New York-based company, which generated its first quarterly adjusted profit since the start of the pandemic, continues to “see a growing appetite for JetBlue’s unique customer value proposition of low fares and great service.”
Hayes also noted that the carrier has “ample runway for growth ahead” and that the company was “pleased” that Spirit shareholders overwhelmingly voted to approve its proposed multibillion-dollar acquisition.
JetBlue, which is still waiting for U.S. regulators to approve its takeover deal for Spirit Airlines, said it plans to “build a truly national low-fare challenger to the dominant Big Four airlines.”
JetBlue’s comments this week mirror Delta Air Lines, which is also not allowing an uncertain economic environment to cloud its optimistic outlook on holiday travel.
“It’s going to be a very strong holiday season” from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, even with high inflation, which accelerated in September, CEO Ed Bastian said during the airline’s third-quarter analyst call earlier this month.
Bastian said advanced bookings – typically three or four months into the future – and comments from big corporate customers point to “very strong” travel demand through the fourth quarter and into early next year.
American Airlines CEO Robert Isom also told analysts earlier this month on an earnings call that the “holidays are booking really well.”