JetBlue Airways on Thursday joined most of the nation's largest airlines in posting a profit, as more passengers returned to the sky in the second quarter.
JetBlue also issued an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year, forecasting higher revenue and more flying to the destinations it serves.
The airline earned $30 million, or 10 cents per share. That compares to JetBlue's second quarter 2009 net income of $20 million, or 7 cents per share.
Revenue increased to $939 million from $807 million a year ago.
The airline said demand is improving, as passenger traffic rose almost 9 percent in the second quarter. "We are optimistic about the rest of the year," said chief financial officer Ed Barnes.
JetBlue expects passenger revenue per available seat mile, an important industry standard, to rise by 12 to 15 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago and to increase by nine to 12 percent for the whole year. The airline plans to expand capacity by six to eight percent in the third quarter and for the full year.
Airlines increase capacity - the number of seats in the air - by flying more planes and larger aircraft.
JetBlue reported that expenses rose 15.5 percent in the quarter, much of that was due to higher fuel costs, which were 12.3 percent above the same quarter of 2009. The airline has been hedging fuel to manage price volatility. It lost $2 million on hedging bets that went the wrong way in the second quarter. JetBlue has hedged almost half of its projected fuel needs for the rest of the year.