So far all U.S. carriers have reported shrinking year-over-year profits in the second quarter. But nobody’s margin decline was worse than that of JetBlue, which posted a 9% operating margin, down from 19% the year before. Allegiant had the best margin of the bunch, narrowly besting Southwest and Delta, both of which had shining quarters.
American’s quarter was marred by its mishandling of basic economy, plus it wasn’t helped by its domestic-heavy network. Alaska has been lacking the right product to take advantage of booming premium demand in the transcon market. Spirit, while still quite profitable, is learning to live in a world where big carriers now pay attention to it. Hawaiian couldn’t have been happy with its nine-point margin decline. Speaking of happy—that might describe United, which showed surprising resilience in Q2.