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What do you name it if you provoke a $3.8 billion hostile takeover of a rival firm, get them to abandon a merger they had been planning with a different company, surrender a sweet longtime revenue-sharing agreement with a enterprise companion, get sued by the federal government, then abandon your takeover plans as a result of a judge said you’d have controlled too much of the market?

In line with JetBlue Airways CEO Joanna Geraghty, you name it “three years of distractions.” The chief’s feedback got here throughout an interview on the JP Morgan Industrials Convention on Tuesday. Between Spirit, the place investors are bracing for a crash landing after the nixed tie-up, and JetBlue, the latter is the financially more healthy of the 2. It was, in spite of everything, the one which began all this. Nevertheless it nonetheless has some work to do to get again to enterprise.

“Clearly, the Northeast Alliance with American Airways, which didn’t work out as we had hoped, adopted by the Spirit transaction, which additionally didn’t work out as we had hoped, all centered on attempting to create a bigger and extra related JetBlue and an airline that would compete with the big legacy carriers,” Geraghty mentioned. “However now, our focus, after spending three years attempting to do these issues, is returning to the enterprise fundamentals.”

New cash from outdated pals

One enterprise elementary is at all times pay your money owed, and JetBlue has a giant $750 million fee coming due in a pair years. With out the larger fiscal clout that may have include a profitable Spirit merger, JetBlue has to determine the way it will deal with that. One gambit is perhaps to lean on an early pandemic-era transfer utilized by the likes of Delta Air Lines and others: Cashing in on its loyalty program, TrueBlue.

“We have now $10 billion of unencumbered property and about half of the $10 billion is our loyalty program,” CFO Ursula Hurley mentioned on the convention. “We’re one of many solely airways on the market that hasn’t but levered up the loyalty program.”

Airways generate profits on their loyalty applications by promoting the factors to different firms, like inns and bank card firms. JetBlue introduced in additional than $400 million by way of factors gross sales final 12 months, according to its annual report.

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