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The carrier’s strong presence in the Northeast region and reliance of the leisure travel market led it be heavily impacted by shortened school breaks caused by Hurricane Sandy.

JetBlue Airways Corp reported a lower first-quarter profit on Thursday, citing weak demand and higher costs.

Earnings came to $14 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $30 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier, the company said on Thursday.

Quarterly revenue rose 8 percent to $1.3 billion, but operating costs climbed 11 percent. Costs for fuel rose 8 percent and expenses for maintenance materials and repairs were up nearly 30 percent.

In a statement, JetBlue said weak demand in the wake of last year’s Superstorm Sandy hurt travel during the Presidents’ Day holiday.

The company said it expects costs to rise in the current quarter.

Copyright (2013) Thomson Reuters.

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Tags: earnings, jetblue airways

Photo credit: A JetBlue Airbus A320 air plane is pictured on the tarmac at a ground breaking ceremony for the first Airbus U.S. assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama April 8, 2013. Lyle Ratliff / Reuters

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