Coronavirus travel restrictions send JetBlue to first-quarter loss

The airline posted net loss of $268 million, or 97 cents a share

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JetBlue Airways Corp. swung to a loss for the first quarter as the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated travel, with governments around the world imposing travel restrictions to help contain the health crisis.

The airline Thursday posted net loss of $268 million, or 97 cents a share, compared with a profit of $42 million, or 14 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year. Adjusted loss was 42 cents a share.

 A Jetblue Airways Airbus A320 with the registration N595JB taking off from Fort Lauderdale Airport in the United States. (iStock)

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a loss of 38 cents a share, or a loss of 30 cents a share on an adjusted basis.

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Revenue fell 15.1% to $1.59 billion. Analysts were looking for $1.7 billion. March revenue fell 52% as the pandemic intensified in the U.S., leading to shelter-in-place orders, and it reduced March capacity by 19%.

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Revenue passenger miles fell 18.4%, while available seat miles fell 3.5% for the quarter.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JBLUJETBLUE AIRWAYS10.17-0.73-6.70%

JetBlue said it reached an agreement with the Treasury Department to receive $936 million under the Cares Act's payroll support program. It has also applied for the loan program under the act, which would provide up to $1.14 billion in additional liquidity if needed. The airline industry is getting $25 billion as part of the $2.2 trillion economic-relief package Congress passed in March.

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