JetBlue Airways revenues $1.5 billion
Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 5.9% to 10.1 billion on a capacity increase of 4.5%, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 86.2%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.
Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.96 cents, up 0.9% compared to the third quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter 2014 increased 2.4% year over year to 12.03 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.4% year over year to 13.00 cents.
Operating expenses for the quarter increased 5.7%, or $75 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.8%, or $3 million, due to JetBlue's focus on debt reduction. JetBlue's operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 1.2% year over year to 11.61 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM(1) increased 2.6% to 7.13 cents.
JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, in the third quarter JetBlue had in place hedges for approximately 23% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 7% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs).
This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.05 per gallon, a 2.7% decrease over third quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $1 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the third quarter.
JetBlue has managed approximately 34% of its fourth quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of October 16th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $2.80 in the fourth quarter.
JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $742 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.
During the third quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $61 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $128 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the remainder of 2014.
For the fourth quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to decrease between (3.0)% and (1.0)% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the fourth quarter is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% year over year.
CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year.
Capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0% in the fourth quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%. ■