In response to the pandemic, JetBlue was the first airline in the US to institute a policy that required every passenger to wear a mask to board a flight. The New York City-based company turned away customers who refused, and provided masks to those who forgot. Having rapidly maneuvered to respond to the new threat, the carrier has set itself up to weather the global pandemic as best as any airline can.
JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes spoke to CNBC about the current state of the airline industry, what it’s like to fly in a post-coronavirus world, and what he expects air travel to look like this summer. Seeing as JetBlue’s passenger mileage is 70% domestic, the airline is already seeing ridership numbers climb, going from lows of 10% of usual traffic, up to 25-30% of normal as of June. For July, JetBlue expects to fly about 50% of its pre-pandemic schedule.
In the stock market, reactions have been mixed, with airline stocks rallying in the past month, since bottoming out in mid-April. That may end soon, as JP Morgan just lowered its revenue forecast for airlines for the second half of the year, as uncertainty about the recovery continues.