9:57 AM

O.K., now this hurts.

Jetblue, the one airline that is always right there at the top of the profit food chain due to their wise management style and exemplary customer service, is now reporting a fourth-quarter net loss of $42.4 million, and do we have to guess what is causing it:

As high fuel costs and competition squeezed earnings, the discount airline forecast losses for the coming year, sending its shares down more than 11 percent. The carrier said its aircraft fuel expense increased 89.5 percent to about $152 million, as average fuel costs surged 50.3 percent to $1.87 per gallon in the quarter.
Competition I can understand. All the low-cost guys battling it out for your butt, now that makes good business sense from the passenger’s perspective. But high fuel costs? Here we go again, George.

It is no coincidence that on the very day of W’s [Sad] State of the Union speech, Exxon reports they have earned $36 BILLION in profits during 2005. Until we can fix the problem at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, expect more losses in aviation as well as in just about any other industry that uses refined fossilized dinosaurs for energy. (Quick aside: just how many dead dinosaurs are left down there anyway? You'd think it has to be a finite number, and when all the dead dinosaurs have been refined into AeroShell, what comes next? Just pondering out loud...)

O.K., that was my political rant…now back to aviation…

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