JetBlue Airways Q4 revenues $1.4 billion
Revenue passenger miles for the fourth quarter increased 7.1% to 8.7 billion on a capacity increase of 8.3%, resulting in a fourth quarter load factor of 80.9%, a decrease of 1 point year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the fourth quarter was 14.35 cents, up 6.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the fourth quarter 2013 increased 5.3% year over year to 11.62 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 5.6% year over year to 12.77 cents.
Operating expenses for the quarter increased 8.7%, or $100 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 8.4%, or $5 million as a result of JetBlue's debt reduction strategy. JetBlue's operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the fourth quarter increased 0.4% year over year to 11.70 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM increased 0.6% to 7.30 cents.
Over the course of 2013, JetBlue improved its return on invested capital (ROIC) to 5.3%. JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, during the fourth quarter JetBlue hedged approximately 28% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 12% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs).
This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.10 per gallon, a 3.1% decrease over fourth quarter 2012 realized fuel price of $3.20. JetBlue recorded $3 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the fourth quarter.
JetBlue has managed approximately 24% of its first quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of January 23rd, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $3.13 in the first quarter. ■