NEW YORK -- JetBlue Airways' first-quarter loss narrowed despite the discount airline's well-publicized troubles during two major ice storms, the carrier reported Tuesday.
JetBlue lost $22 million, or 12 cents per share in the quarter, compared with a loss of $32 million, or 18 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2006.
The results bested the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Financial, who had forecast losses of 19 cents per share.
Operating revenues jumped 24 percent to $608 million, compared with $490 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Forest Hills, NY-based JetBlue was roundly criticized earlier this year when it was forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights, stranding travelers in Northeast airports during the Valentine's Day snowstorm.
Trying to control the damage in the storm's aftermath, JetBlue drafted a "customer bill of rights," under which the company issues vouchers to certain customers who experience delays.
Despite beating analyst expectations, JetBlue executives said they were not satisfied.
"We are disappointed with our first quarter results, which were significantly impacted by two ice storms in the Northeast area," said David Neeleman, chairman and chief executive. "We learned a great deal following the events and consequently, we're better able to recover from irregular operations and provide the superior service our customers deserve and have grown to appreciate."
Shares of JetBlue edged up 3 cents to 11.01 Tuesday at the opening of the Nasdaq Stock Market.
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