JetBlue Firing on All Cylinders With Q2 Profit

Last Updated Jul 24, 2009 11:00 AM EDT

If you're looking for some good news this quarter among all the gloom and doom, look no further than the blue crew. JetBlue posted its Q2 results and they were very good. The airline may have had a rough period in the past couple of years, but things are looking very strong right now.

In the second quarter, JetBlue posted net income of $14 million excluding special items. That was more than double analyst expectations. The airline also predicts profits for the rest of the year, and it wants to pay down some debt and start looking to expand again.

JetBlue's results highlight the fact that leisure travel hasn't been hit nearly as hard as business travel. It's highly leisure-focused network saw unit revenue decrease only 4.4 percent. Average fare was down just over 8 percent. That's a far cry from the double-digit declines at most other airlines.

Unit costs (excluding fuel) have been creeping up, but it's important to note that the airline's average stage length has dropped more than 6 percent. That alone is going to be responsible for a fair increase in unit costs.

Thanks to a recent equity offering, the airline is flush with cash. It has $880 million in the bank, slightly more than its total revenue for the quarter, so it has a nice cushion.

Strong work by the blue crew in Q2.