NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's taken more than two years to complete, but JetBlue Airways (JBLU) has finished its move to Terminal 5 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport ahead of schedule and under budget, incoming CEO Robin Hayes said Friday.
The most expensive asset for an airline company are the planes, Hayes said. The airline will save money on operations once the planes are towed from the current Terminal 4 to the new one, and customers will have a simpler, faster and more enjoyable time, he said. International customers, for instance, will be able to get into the airport and through customs faster.
The move to Terminal 5 will also allow JetBlue "to add international routes," although Hayes did not specify which markets may be added to the itinerary.
While the airplanes are the most expensive assets, fuel costs are one of the largest input costs for airline companies. "It's the biggest, uncontrollable cost that an airline has," he explained.
At the moment, fuel prices seem to be trending lower, but that can change very quickly. JetBlue continues to remain "lightly hedged" on jet fuel, he said.
While oil prices may change, customer benefits will not. Hayes referred to this as the "bundled offering" that allows customers to check their first bag for free as well as enjoy free Wi-Fi, TV, and snacks and drinks.
"We don't believe in nickel and diming our customers," Hayes added. While the amenities in the bundled pricing could change to reflect what customers want the most, the bundling strategy as a whole is unlikely to disappear.
Sustainable, organic growth has been JetBlue's focus, Hayes concluded, and that starts by satisfying customers.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell