EcoEarnings: A Shore Thing

Dec 01, 2014
  • Description

Leisure travel to the Caribbean is a key pillar of JetBlue's business model, with many customers flying to the region to enjoy paradise - like beaches and pristine waters. However, the ecosystems that support and provide those crystal - clear, turquoise - tinted seas are at risk. Some have already grossly deteriorated. Large - scale environmental degradation in the Caribbean is a risk to demand for leisure air travel to the area, thus impacting JetBlue.

EcoEarnings: A Shore Thing seeks to quantify both the risk and return to JetBlue from the region's natural attractions. This study seeks to link the importance of clean, intact, and healthy beaches and shorelines to JetBlue's profitability in the Caribbean, with a focus on JetBlue and industry revenue per available seat mile (RASM).

Our study began by observing a positive correlation between ecosystem health and RASM. The goal is to calculate the impact of the underlying drivers of ecosystem health -- including water quality, mangrove quality, and waste along the shorelines -- on industry RASM.

We find positive correlations among water quality, mangrove health, limited waste on shorelines, and RASM, but more data is required to statistically prove and validate the model. This interim report serves as a call to gather more information about shoreline health and to rally the efforts of policy makers, the tourism industry, and tourists to protect the Caribbean's greatest natural resource s -- its ecosystems.