Financial Performance

Hurricanes to Cut $44M From JetBlue Revenue

“The third quarter presented unprecedented weather challenges for JetBlue," impacting both revenue and operating income.
Matthew HellerOctober 11, 2017

The recent string of hurricanes created some turbulence for JetBlue Airways, which said Wednesday that revenue and profit for the second half of the year would be hit by the weather.

The airline said that on a preliminary basis, the hurricanes negatively impacted third-quarter revenue by about $44 million and operating income by $30 million to $35 million, or 6 to 7 cents per share.

Jet Blue is also expecting a negative impact in the fourth quarter from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with revenue to be hurt by about $70 million to $90 million based on current passenger bookings. Operating income will be reduced by 10 cents to 13 cents per share.

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“The third quarter presented unprecedented weather challenges for JetBlue, with two of the largest hurricanes in our history impacting our network,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a news release. “We remain committed to the rebuilding efforts, particularly in Puerto Rico.”

“We are confident that the adjustments we are making to our network will minimize any ongoing financial impact in 2018,” he added.

Investors, however, appeared to shrug off the news as JetBlue shares rose 1.5% to $20.53 in trading Wednesday. “Generally, the business is very solid and the negative impact [of the hurricanes] will lapse,” SeekingAlpha said.

The company also reported that the hurricanes positively impacted revenue per available seat mile, a key airline industry metric, by about 0.9 percentage points year over year. Last month, it forecast RASM between a decline of 1% and a rise of 1%, excluding Irma.

For the full year, JetBlue expects revenue to be impacted by $114 million to $134 million and operating income to be reduced by 16 cents to 20 cents per share.

Delta Air Lines is also feeling the impact of the hurricanes, reporting Wednesday that net income fell 6% to nearly $1.2 billion during its July-September quarter, with $120 million of the decline attributable to Irma.

Irma in particular disrupted Delta flights in the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia. “I am proud of how Delta people responded and still delivered an outstanding performance this quarter,” CEO Ed Bastian said.