Low-cost carrier JetBlue (JBLU) says airline fares are heading back towards pre-pandemic levels as pent-up COVID demand for domestic travel normalizes and travelers opt for longer, international destinations.
JetBlue logo on an Airbus A321LR at the 54th International Paris Airshow at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 20, 2023. (Benoit Tessier/REUTERS)
On Tuesday, JetBlue cut its annual earnings forecast and issued third quarter guidance below Wall Street expectations. The stock fell as much as 8% during the trading session. Year-to-date shares are up about 9%.
“As we head into the third quarter, we continue to see many of the same trends, including strong demand during peak periods. However, during off-peak periods, we are now seeing demand trends normalize,” Joanna Geraghty, chief operating officer of JetBlue, said during the company’s second quarter earnings call on Tuesday.
“We have seen fares normalizing back to 2019 levels,” she added.
The airline also noted a “greater-than-expected shift of pent-up COVID demand to long-haul international markets, which is pressuring demand for domestic travel during the peak summer travel period.”