FINANCE - 2 EXAM
ANALYSIS OF JET BLUE CASE: PREPARING FOR FINANCING
SYNOPSIS OF THE CASE
JetBlue Airways Corporation was formed in August 1998 as a low-fare, low-cost but high service passenger airline serving select United States market. JetBlue's operations strategy was designed to achieve a low cost, whilst offering customers a pleasing and differentiated flying experience. JetBlue has had a successful business model and strong financial results during that period, and performed well in comparison to other airline companies in the US during the period between 2000 and 2003. It had been the only other airline apart from Southwest airlines, to have been profitable during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Center, and at a time when the entire airline industry was experiencing losses.
The core of JetBlue's strategy was low operating cost achieved through a smaller and more productive workforce; utilizing aircraft efficiently; better use of technology to achieve lower distribution cost i.e.
use of electronic ticket as against paper ticket; use of brand new single model planes that reduced maintenance costs and training costs at the same time. However, moving into the growth phase, JetBlue was contemplating expansion with the introduction of a new model of planes, i.e. Embraer E190, that are smaller than the A320s that they were using. These planes were to be utilized for penetrating mid-size cities and also during off-peak times on existing routes. The company defined these markets as destination with 100 to 600 local passengers per day each way, compared to the much larger markets that the company was serving with its A320s. This had potential implications for its low-cost strategy.
Jetblue's expansion required investments in areas other than just new aircraft. Owen needed to decide how to raise additional capital to fund the...