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TheStreet Open House

JetBlue CEO Presents At Deutsche Bank 2012 Aviation And Transportation Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: JBLU

Let me start by trying to set some content for the remarks. JetBlue is about 12 years in it's' growth from our first flight with many, many years to go. Rule of thumb, if you're going to start an airline, make sure your first flight is not in the middle of a snowstorm, which was the – unfortunately, we got that. But in any event, we're 12 years old. We have about 175 airplanes, 14,000 crew members, highly engaged non-union workforce. It's a terrific place to work. Everything they say about the culture is true and then some. It's about as close to GE as I've even seen in terms of strength of that culture. He obviously talked of my background, so you sort of know the other places I'm comparing that to.

It's an interesting airline in that it chose to base its' operations in I think the most competitive marketplace in the world, at least the United States, northeast Florida and Northeast. It's very, very competitive. Again, I think it's important particularly in the context of growth if you keep in mind that while we have this huge presence in New York and therefore sort of a big media presence if you will, we are really fully [inaudible] in the domestic market share.

The company itself as you can see from the bottom here has sort of gone through a growth phase where we built a brand, built a network presence, and I think probably faster than we ever thought we would probably get to. We slowed the growth to transition to among other metrics, pre-cash flow, which is a very, very effective way to measure our growth. Obviously, we have always maintained healthy liquidity.

And now we have entertained, actually starting with the last year's analyst day this crazy metric called ROIC, which is probably a metric that we haven't heard in the airline business for a long, long time. And we have absolutely embraced this return metric.

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