Jetblue says that ongoing delays to delivery of its A321 neo aircraft would reduce growth plans for next year.
The US low-cost carrier had expected to take delivery of 13 of the Airbus new-engine-option aircraft this year, but will now only receive six over the course of 2019.
Announcing second quarter operating profits of $250 million (compared with a loss of $152 million for the same period last year), Jetblue’s CEO Robin Hayes, said:
“Airbus has recently communicated additional A321 neo delays that will reduce our 2020 growth plans and naturally add pressure to our CASM ex-fuel. Despite these delays, we remain confident that we can execute both our unit cost commitments and achieve our $2.50 to $3.00 earnings per share target for 2020.”
“We believe our work is positioning us for success into the next decade. Next year we anticipate the first delivery of our margin-accretive A220s, a game-changing aircraft to further help us reduce our unit costs, improve our margins and increase our EPS.”
In April Jetblue confirmed long-standing speculation that it would launch transatlantic flights to London, and Hayes added:
“We are thrilled that we recently converted 13 additional A321s in our existing order book to A321 XLRs, and we expect to begin our European service by adding London from Boston and New York starting in 2021.”
The carrier recently announced plans to launch its longest route to date, with a New York-Guayaquil service set to start in December, operated by the A321 neo.
Jetblue has also been shifting several of its services departing Washington, moving flights from Dulles airport to Reagan National, and focusing on core routes in an attempt to improve profitability.