JetBlue is going to Paris, but will Wall Street care?

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JetBlue announced flights to Paris this week. With the flights to the City of Light, the airline wants to capitalize on its recent success with flights from the US to the UK. The new flights will take travelers to continental Europe’s most visited city this summer. With 75 million visitors, France is also the most visited country in the world.

For JetBlue, a chance to disrupt the old airlines’ transatlantic business and steal some of their customers wouldn’t hurt either. But with hundreds of canceled flights and thousands of stranded passengers, is it enough to lift the airline and its stock (JBLU) out of the financial doldrums?

JetBlue will launch nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in the summer of 2023. Information is available at www.jetblue.com/paris. The airline will add nonstop service between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Paris-CDG at an unspecified later date.

Paris will be JetBlue’s second transatlantic destination after launching flights to London in August 2021. With the Airbus A321LR (long range) twin jet, the airline now flies five daily flights between the United States and the United Kingdom. JetBlue has 13 A321LR aircraft, with a crossing range of 4,000 nautical miles, in service or on order. The airline has a further 13 orders for the A321XLR aircraft with an even longer range.

Flights take place in the airline’s ‘focus cities’, New York and Boston. The mainland-ticketed JetBlue A321LRs have 24 flat-flat TUSEN suites and approximately 115 generally well-rated Core or economy class seats with decent legroom. All passengers receive live television and on-demand entertainment on every seat and free Fly-Fi broadband internet access.

Paris will be JetBlue’s second transatlantic destination in summer 2023, though specific launch dates have not yet been announced. The airline took a swipe at its competition, saying that with flights to both London and Paris, “JetBlue will play a unique role in disrupting legacy high-fare airlines that have used joint ventures and global alliances to support these routes for decades. to dominate.”

Meanwhile, airlines made a roaring comeback in North America this summer. According to the International Air Traffic Association (IATA), airlines experienced a traffic increase of 110.4% in August compared to the period in 2021. Capacity increased by 69.7% and load factor increased by 16.9 percentage points to 87.2 %, the highest among world regions.

Unfortunately, high occupancy rates and high ticket prices have not yet translated into significant enough profitability to impress Wall Street. On the day of the announcement, JetBlue was down 0.33 to 7.92, a loss of -4.00%. It ended the week at 7.86.

The airline is trading at the lower end of its 52-week range of 6.21 – 16.39. Like most of his ilk, he has been languishing for months.

Will a handful of planes flying to London and Paris this summer be enough to change JetBlue’s fortunes? Maybe not, but the high visibility flights will certainly “fly the flag” for JetBlue. And passengers can transfer to and from Europe to the more than 100 destinations JetBlue serves in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada.

Currently, JetBlue is the sixth largest airline in the United States. A wild card is whether US regulators will approve the company’s purchase of Spirit Airlines. The $3.8 billion deal would expand the fleet and route network and move JetBlue to 5th among U.S. carriers. Spirit shareholders have approved the merger, but lawsuits have been filed by passengers and flight attendants concerned about the loss of one of America’s last low-cost airlines, Spirit.

Nevertheless, JetBlue is excited about its second foray to the mainland.

“JetBlue offers something totally unique compared to what you get from the large, global legacy airlines on these routes – where a single high-fare joint venture handles nearly three-quarters of the flying,” said Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue. “The response to our London service is proof that combining great service with low fares works. We can’t wait to bring our revamped TUSEN and core offerings to Continental Europe’s most visited city.”

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