Source AP ©

JetBlue generates first profit in two years

JetBlue Airways Corp. said Tuesday it generated its first third-quarter profit in two years as capacity and occupancy grew. But it also decided to leave two markets.

Net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to $23 million (EUR16.24 million), or 12 cents per share. The low-cost airline broke even during the same period last year.

Revenue for the quarter increased to $765 million (5EUR40 million), up from $628 million a year earlier. The airline said load factor, a measure of occupancy, grew 1.6 percentage points over the year-earlier period, while capacity jumped 10.9 percent.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast earnings of 7 cents per share on revenue of $767.4 million (EUR541.7 million), on average.

JetBlue also said it planned to discontinue service to Columbus, Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee, effective Jan. 6.

The carrier said it expects to report an operating margin of 3 to 5 percent in the fourth quarter, and between 5 to 7 percent for the full year. Capacity is expected to grow 10 to 12 percent in the fourth quarter, and 11 to 13 percent for the year.