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Markets News

UPDATE 1-JetBlue Airways eyes booking uplift after 76% revenue slide

(Adds revenue forecast, net loss, Airbus deal, liquidity)

Oct 26 (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways’ third-quarter revenue plunged by 76% as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered travel demand but the New York-based budget carrier expects an upturn in bookings for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, it said on Tuesday.

The airline said the quarterly revenue decline is expected to narrow to 65% in the final three months of the year, though uncertainties remain in light of the evolving coronavirus crisis.

Daily cash burn is expected to hover between $4 million and $6 million per day in the fourth quarter. That compares with about $6.1 million per day in the third quarter, which the company said was better than forecast thanks to a modest improvement in demand and cost savings.

JetBlue reported a net loss of $393 million, or $1.44 per share, for the three months to Sept. 30, against a $187 million profit a year earlier.

The company, which expects fourth-quarter capacity to be down about 45% from a year earlier, said it reached a second deal with Airbus SE this month to defer additional jet deliveries and payments over the next few years.

Since the beginning of the crisis, it said it has reduced capital expenditure for the 2020-2022 period by $2 billion dollars and ended the quarter with $3.1 billion of liquidity.

JetBlue is among airlines that received federal aid to covered payroll expenses through the third quarter and has separately secured $1.95 billion in U.S. Treasury loans. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski Editing by David Goodman)

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