JetBlue cancels 1,280 flights through mid-January – report

Athe low-cost American airline JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) announced the cancellation of around 1,280 flights from Dec. 30 to Jan. 13, 2022, due to increased Omicron cases among staff and bad weather in parts of the country, according to CNBC. Following the news, shares closed nearly 1% lower at $ 14.24 on December 30.

Flight cancellations

Since Christmas Eve last Friday, airlines have canceled thousands of flights, both domestic and international, due to increased Omicron cases and heavy snowfall.

Yesterday, JetBlue announced it was canceling 1,280 flights until mid-January as the airline faces a staff shortage. Many workers and flight attendants have caught the virus and are making themselves sick, making it difficult to cancel / reschedule flights in the short term. JetBlue said the planned cancellations will allow the airline to manage its workforce and, more importantly, avoid inconvenience to passengers.

The just picking up travel industry hit a roadblock again with growing concerns over the Omicron variant. According to data from FlightAware, carriers have canceled more than 8,000 flights since Christmas Eve.

As of Thursday, more than 1,100 flights were canceled, with JetBlue canceling 17% of its flight schedule. According to JetBlue, flight cuts planned until mid-January represent less than 10% of the carrier’s daily schedule.

After repeated requests from carriers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced the isolation period for asymptomatic infected people to 5 days from 10 days. This is a relief for carriers as they can expect crew and workers to return to work faster and ease the pressure of staff shortages.

Company comments

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said: “The worst type of cancellation, as we all know, is cancellation that happens at the airport.”

JetBlue managers wrote in a staff memo: “The past week has been one of our most difficult times during the pandemic… The exponential growth of Omicron cases in just a few days is at an all-time high. which no one could reasonably prepare for. “

Department heads are happy with the new CDC guidelines and added, “We know that Omicron cases have yet to peak in the northeast (and not for at least a week or two) where the vast majority of our crew members are based.

The Wall Street Perspective

JetBlue stock has a moderate buy consensus rating based on 4 buy, 3 take and 1 sell. JetBlue’s average price target of $ 18.79 implies upside potential of 32% from current levels. Stocks have lost 2.1% in the past year.

Blogger reviews

TipRanks data shows that Financial blogger opinions are 85% bullish on JBLU, against a sector average of 68%.

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