JetBlue Slashes Some Fares to $44

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JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) has launched a promotional two-day only, one-way fare of $44 on several routes beginning Tuesday, January 3, and ending at one minute before midnight on Wednesday. There are blackout dates and other possible restrictions and travel must fall between February 6 and May 23.

In December JetBlue offered the same deal for travel between January 10 and February 14, and earlier this month the airline offered a $49 one-way fare on some routes for travel between January 10 and April 25. There are some restrictions and blackout dates.

Among dozens of published fares, JetBlue is advertising a $34 one-way flight from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale with the following restrictions: travel must occur on a Tuesday or Wednesday between April 1 and April 30. Tickets must be purchased at least 14-days in advance and availability of tickets at this price is limited. The return ticket is also $34.

JetBlue is one of four airlines expected to report fourth-quarter earnings Thursday. The others are Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK), American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV).

Consensus estimates call for JetBlue to report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.34 and revenues of $1.75 billion for the fourth quarter and EPS of $1.78 from revenues of $7.01 billion for the 2017 fiscal year. Both quarterly and annual estimates are higher than year-ago results.

JetBlue has struggled with rising costs, particularly on the available seat mile (ASM) metric. The airline raised its revenue per ASM estimate for the fourth quarter from a range of down 0.5% to up 1.5% to an increase of 1.8%. Still, available seat miles rose by 4.4% year over year in December.

Having a seat filled with a paying passenger — no matter how little that passenger pays — is better than flying an empty seat around. Other $44 flights available through tomorrow night include Fort Lauderdale to/from Philadelphia; Boston to/from Cleveland; San Francisco to/from Long Beach; and Las Vegas to/from Long Beach.

The airline’s stock closed Tuesday at $22.59, up about 0.1% for the day, in a 52-week range of $18.05 to $24.13. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $24.50.