Albany International Airport’s newest carrier had a good fourth quarter.
JetBlue Airways Corp. said Thursday that it doubled its profit for the quarter thanks to lower jet-fuel prices and better-than-expected sales gains from a new pricing system, Bloomberg News Service reported.
Albany airport spokesman Doug Myers said the news would have no direct or immediate impact on the Colonie airport, except that financially healthy airlines are more likely to add flights to their schedule, which is what airport officials want to happen here.
Those officials had been trying to attract a new low-cost carrier for a while in hopes of boosting competition, Myers said, but it was a long effort to secure JetBlue to fill that niche.
JetBlue started operations out of Albany airport in early December.
“We had been seeking JetBlue service for probably five or six years,” Myers said.
New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, was among those to court the airline and get it to finally agree to come to Albany.
Currently out of Albany, JetBlue flies one-round trip a day each to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, with connections from there throughout the Caribbean.
Myers said carriers frequently enter a new market slowly, as JetBlue did here, and the hope is that JetBlue will expand its flights out of Albany.
JetBlue’s focus on U.S. and Caribbean markets shielded it from the currency swings and decreased international demand that hurt bigger carriers, Bloomberg reported.
Price wars in some domestic markets contributed to a 3.6 percent drop in JetBlue’s average fare per mile, but this was more than offset by a 12 percent gain in passenger traffic, Bloomberg said.
JetBlue this week joined other airlines by saying it would put more seats into its planes, the news service reported. The carrier will add 12 seats to its Airbus Group A320 aircraft as it renovates the interiors starting next year.
Bloomberg said JetBlue earlier planned to add 15 seats to the 150 installed in the current configuration of the model, which accounts for most of the airline’s fleet, including those it flies in and out of Albany.
Reach Gazette business editor John Cropley at 395-3104 or [email protected]