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New York, U.S. - The American budget specialist JetBlue Airways reduced its aircraft orders with Airbus by about 34% after it announced a $268 million quarterly loss.

The carrier now plans to take delivery of 40 Airbus aircraft through 2022, down from 61. The new delivery schedule covers only one A220 and seven A321neos this year.

Since cases of the novel coronavirus began accelerating in March, U.S air travel demand has sunk by about 95%, forcing airlines to shift their focus from growth plans to parking planes and minimizing their daily cash burn.

While the overall number of bookings was “extremely limited,” New York-based JetBlue said it believed demand had reached a floor around mid-April and it expected to have a better sense of the third and fourth quarters by early summer.

Meanwhile, its second-quarter flight capacity will be about 80% lower than what it had originally planned. Following measures to boost its liquidity, JetBlue expects its daily cash burn to fall to just below $10 million in May from an average of $18 million in the second half of March, excluding government assistance under the CARES Act.

The airline is set to receive $936 million in government payroll assistance, which bans companies from reducing their workforce until Sept. 30, and said it has applied for an additional up to $1.14 billion government loan that it can draw if needed and was evaluating additional capital raises including secured debt and sale-leasebacks.
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