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JetBlue Announces Fourth Quarter 2017 Results
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JetBlue Announces Fourth Quarter 2017 Results

JetBlue reported fourth quarter operating revenues of $1.8 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the fourth quarter increased 3.1% to 11.5 billion on a capacity increase of 5.1%, resulting in a fourth quarter load factor of 83.1%, a 1.6 point decrease year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the fourth quarter was 13.57 cents, up 2.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 0.8% year over year to 11.28 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.8% year over year to 12.66 cents.

Compared with last year, operating expenses for the quarter increased 16.5%, or $222 million. Interest expense for the quarter declined 12.4%, or $4 million, as JetBlue continued to reduce its debt. JetBlue"™s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the fourth quarter increased 10.8% year over year to 11.29 cents. CASM Ex-Fuel1 for the fourth quarter increased 8.1% to 8.63 cents.

"I"™d like to thank our 21,000 Crewmembers, who rose to each and every challenge during 2017. Our fourth quarter results were driven by solid demand across our network, our successful ancillary platform and recovery in the Caribbean that exceeded our expectations, following a historic hurricane season. We continue to make progress to achieve our margin commitments and to compete successfully as a low-cost carrier," said Robin Hayes, JetBlue"™s President and CEO.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

In the fourth quarter of 2017 JetBlue had hedges in place for approximately 10% of its fuel consumption. The realized fuel price in the quarter was $1.89 per gallon, a 21.6% increase versus fourth quarter 2016 realized fuel price of $1.56.

JetBlue does not presently have any forward fuel derivative contracts to hedge its fuel consumption. Based on the fuel curve as of January 12th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel of $2.16 in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 28% over the realized fuel price in the first quarter of 2017…

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