JetBlue (JBLU) indicated that one of its ways to reduce its losses throughout 2020 was to capture cash-generating opportunities, as the current pandemic continued to ravage the airline industry.
Overall, the New York-based airline earned $2.9 billion of revenue in 2020, compared to the $8.09 billion it earned a year prior. As a result, JetBlue (JBLU) ended the year with a loss of $1.4 billion. All in all, the airline now has $3.1 billion of liquidity, as it managed to reduce its average daily cash burn to $6.7 million in Q4 2020.
“2020 was a year like no other, as the COVID-19 pandemic challenged our industry in ways we have never seen before,” commented the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JetBlue Robin Hayes. “The very foundation of our business model – our culture, our passion for customer service, and our focus on safety – continue to guide us as we march towards recovery.”The company noted that it had taken up several measures to manage its liquidity, including the redeployment of its assets “to capture short-term, tactical cash generation opportunities.” Furthermore, JetBlue (JBLU) raised over $700 million through sale-and-leaseback transactions and an equity offering on the market. Costs were also addressed, as the company managed its capacity aggressively.
“As we moved through 2020, we meaningfully reduced our cash burn, and are starting to shift our focus to rebuilding our margins. We remain cautiously optimistic that demand trends will improve later this year. More importantly, this crisis has made us a more agile, creative and resilient airline, and we believe our initiatives will allow us to emerge with structurally better margins,” concluded Hayes.
JetBlue (JBLU) is hopeful that 2019-levels of capacity would return in 2022, while it expected to end the current year with 75% of that of 2019. Nevertheless, the airline will continue taking aircraft, as Airbus will deliver five A321, three A321LR and seven A220 aircraft to the carrier in 2021. All in all, JetBlue (JBLU) plans to have 282 aircraft by the year’s end, increasing its total fleet by 15 narrow-body aircraft.