U.S.-based air carrier, JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) has sent a memo to its crew urging them to accept more flight assignments, to sustain the rising air travel demand, according to CNBC.
Shares of JetBlue closed at $14.56 on March 25. Its shares have lost 25.7% over the past year.
JetBlue to Hire 700 Attendants for Summer
Air carriers worldwide are facing an unprecedented upswing in travel demand, forcing employees to take up more assignments. Airlines that are already facing the brunt of the increased fuel prices are being compelled to hire more crew members to suffice the growing travel demand.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), air travel has hit a record high in almost a year, with 1,357,111 people at airport security checkpoints this month, the highest figure since March 15, 2020.
Airlines are preparing for a robust summer, and JBLU has already announced its intent to hire 700 additional crew members to meet the uptick in travel demand. However, until it hires the necessary staff, JBLU has requested its existing crew to take up more assignments in the overall interest of the company and passengers.
According to CNBC, the memo from Ed Baklor, head of customer care and program, read, “Please do not refuse an assignment you are assigned to operate; it is disruptive to the operation, lets down your fellow Crewmembers, and disappoints our customers who rely on us to safely get them to their destination.”
JetBlue is still unprofitable and with rising fuel prices and inflationary pressures, the company is counting on robust demand and customers’ willingness to pay more for tickets as a means of turning profitable.
“With strong consumer demand and record hiring, we are anticipating a healthy summer. We will see the other side of this if we can count on your continued patience, partnership and teamwork along the way,” Baklor concluded.
Recently, four U.S. airlines increased their revenue forecasts for Q1 (including JetBlue) as demand resumes. Meanwhile, Baklor has requested the existing crew to support the carrier in completing its flights successfully without having to make ad-hoc recruitments to meet peak seasonal demand.
The JBLU stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on three Buys against three Holds and one Sell. The average JetBlue stock prediction of $18.33 implies 25.9% upside potential to current levels.
TipRanks’ Hedge Fund Trading Activity tool shows that confidence in JetBlue is currently Neutral, as 10 hedge funds decreased their cumulative holdings of the JBLU stock by 159,800 shares in the last quarter.
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