From: Reuters
Published April 22, 2008 08:24 AM

JetBlue Airways posts narrower loss

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp <JBLU.O> posted a narrower-than-expected loss on Tuesday as stronger revenue partially offset skyrocketing fuel costs.

Net loss for the quarter was $8 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $22 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts on average had forecast a per-share loss of 7 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Operating revenues totaled $816 million, a 34 percent jump. Operating expense per available seat mile increased 12 percent year-over-year to 9.5 cents. Excluding fuel, unit costs fell 0.2 percent to 5.8 cents.

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"We are pleased with our strong unit revenue performance and cost discipline during the quarter," Dave Barger, JetBlue's chief executive, said in a statement.

Barger said the airline continues to see healthy demand and is taking steps to counter high fuel prices, which were up 40 percent at the company last quarter compared to the same period in 2007.

"We have further reduced our 2008 capacity growth to three to five percent by aggressively managing our flight schedule after the peak summer travel period," Barger said. "We intend to make further adjustments to our network as necessary."

On Tuesday, JetBlue joined other carriers in adopting a new checked bag policy. Customers can check one bag at no charge but a second one will cost $20, effective for travel on or after June 1.

(Reporting by John Crawley, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Dave Zimmerman)

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