JetBlue is struggling, and has been for years. It’s losing money. It lags the industry operationally. While they offer a decent product in the air, they’re confused on the ground. And the product in the air isn’t nearly as good as it used to be.
Ironically the airline chopped the quality of its product over several years to appease Wall Street. It’s no longer as enjoyable to fly, no longer makes the money it used to, and financial analysts are still nipping at its heels.
Over the years it’s tried several strategies to turn itself around. It tried to buy Virgin America but lost out to Alaska. It partnered with American Airlines, but abandoned that alliance as soon as a single district court judge ruled against it – thinking that it could appease regulators and get its Spirit Airlines acquisition done if it wasn’t fighting them on their American deal. But the DOJ’s anti-trust suit against their Spirit merger began this week, and they’re making payments to Spirit shareholders whether they win or not.
Best case scenario is that JetBlue gets to buy Spirit Airlines, which is losing even more money than JetBlue, after overpaying for the carrier and burning cash on lawsuits.
Employees have lost confidence in management, and it’s unclear what possible argument there is for CEO Robin Hayes. Aviation watchdog JonNYC, along with other sources, report that there’s an employee petition of “no confidence” in the CEO and the board’s Chairman in a “full scale revolt.”
..him and the Board Chair
Will be interesting few weeks…not that crewmember anger means anything but view is he’s driving airline off a cliff with poor strategy decisions
Earnings call today was tipping point
Board chair has been here 15yrs-totally culpable in the eyes of many"
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) October 31, 2023
…Marty St George were the two worst things. Marty should have been the next President or CEO.
Also, Alex Battaglia getting shoved out the door and always being the scapegoat was total bs. Him and Mike Parkinson were the only two people other than Marty that knew what to do…
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) November 1, 2023
JetBlue offers an extra couple of inches in regular economy, like Southwest does. Their wifi is free and people like their snacks. Business class meals are quite good, and flight attendants generally friendly. That makes the airline reasonably good to fly, compared to the low standards of competitors.
But their on-time and flight completion performance lag the industry, and check-in and gate staff often seem confused and unempowered. They’re a mess on the ground and they’re not reliable. They’re losing money, without a clear path to improve. And with the huge integration costs and distractions of merger integration, if their Spirit acquisition strategy is successful their performance may fall even further.
Employees have the sense of a sinking ship after years of mismanagement and the discontent has spilled out into the open.