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CHICAGO, July 22 JetBlue Airways (JBLU.O) on
Tuesday reported a net loss, reversing a year-ago profit, on
rising fuel costs and said it has suspended its near-term growth
The low-cost carrier said it lost $7 million, or 3 cents per
share, in the second quarter, compared with a net profit of $21
million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company reported operating revenue of $859 million, a
gain of 17.7 percent from a year ago.
"We are also encouraged to see continued strength in our
bookings throughout the summer," JetBlue Chief Executive Dave
Barger said in a statement. "However, revenue gains are clearly
not keeping pace with the extraordinary increase in the price of
JetBlue said its fuel bill rose 63.7 percent in the quarter
to $370 million. The entire U.S. airline industry has been
battered by soaring fuel costs that have eroded financial
progress made through a series of fare hikes since 2006.
The company said it would suspend its near-term growth plans
beginning in September, when it expects capacity to be down
about 10 percent year over year. The airline said it does not
plan to grow in 2009.
JetBlue ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents
amounting to $846 million and $397 million of investment
(Reporting by Kyle Peterson, editing by Mark Porter)