UPDATE 2-Jetblue swings to Q1 loss on higher expenses

* $1 mln net loss compares to $12 mln net income in 2009

* JetBlue revenue $870 mln, share loss 1 cent
(Recasts; Adds CEO comment, revenue/expense details)

WASHINGTON, April 28 (BestGrowthStock) – JetBlue Airways Corp
(JBLU.O: ) swung to an unexpected loss in the first quarter, but
believes it has taken the right steps to position itself for
new growth and a return to profitability.

New York-based JetBlue said winter storms cut revenue by
$15 million and its transition to a new customer service and
reservation system increased expenses by a like amount.

Higher fuel costs also eroded the carrier’s bottom line, a
volatile scenario that affected all major airlines in the
January-to-March period.

JetBlue reported a net loss of $1 million, or a penny per
share, compared with net income of $12 million, or 5 cents a
share for the year-ago period.

The consensus Wall Street per-share forecast for the
quarter was a profit of 3 cents, according to Reuters I/B/E/S.

Higher fares helped push revenue to $870 million, about $10
million shy of analysts’ expectations. Traffic was up and
planes flew more than three-quarters full on average.

The second-quarter forecast calls for improving unit
revenue, an increase in capacity and higher costs, excluding
fuel.

JetBlue Chief Executive Dave Barger said the company was
disappointed in its performance but was encouraged by recent
revenue trends bolstered by an improving economy.

The airline also expects benefits from its new customer
service system, a growing presence in Boston, and its position
as the largest domestic carrier at New York’s John F. Kennedy
International Airport.

“We are confident that we are taking the right steps to
return to sustained profitability,” Barger said in a
statement.

JetBlue ended the quarter with $1.1 billion in unrestricted
cash and short-term investments.

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(Reporting by John Crawley, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and
Maureen Bavdek)

UPDATE 2-Jetblue swings to Q1 loss on higher expenses