Apparently talk of their loss could be a bit premature. ATW today reports that Delta's cutbacks are really helping Jetblue (no surprise there).
JetBlue, which earlier forecast a full-year loss for 2006, instead should see a return to profit, according to JP Morgan analyst Jamie Baker, who cited the positive impact of dramatic cutbacks by primary competitor Delta Air Lines in key north-south East Coast markets that should boost JetBlue system revenue by 5%. Based on its latest schedule filings, Delta is cutting capacity significantly between the Northeast and Florida as a result of the demise of Song as an independent entity, resulting in 13 fewer daily departures across 13 markets, "a decline of one-quarter," according to JP Morgan. Actual reduction in seats is likely to come in at 32%, since Song's 757s are being replaced by smaller aircraft such as mainline MD-80s. These markets "collectively account for 34% of JetBlue system revenue," said the analyst. JP Morgan forecasts JetBlue will enjoy a revenue boost of $30 million starting with the second quarter, enough to propel it to a small profit this year.