UPDATE 1-JetBlue profit trails estimates as costs rise
* Profit 11 cents/share vs Street view 14 cents
* Revenue rises 4.5 percent, expenses up 7.5 percent
July 30 (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday as costs rose and the airline's average fare fell.
JetBlue said it expects pressure from maintenance costs to ease in the second half. It also said it was "encouraged by recent revenue trends."
Other airlines have also signaled revenue trends are improving after a challenging first half in which U.S. budget cuts hurt government travel demand.
JetBlue said costs for fuel and salaries increased 3.3 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, in the second quarter, while expenses for maintenance materials and repairs soared 31 percent.
Earnings were $36 million, or 11 cents a share, in the quarter, down 31 percent from $52 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 4.5 percent to $1.3 billion, but operating expenses climbed 7.5 percent.
The discount carrier's average airfare fell 1 percent to $157.51. Passenger revenue per available seat mile, an important measure called unit revenue, fell 3.3 percent, hurt by the shift of the Easter and Passover holidays into March this year from April last year.
Last week, US Airways Group, Delta Air Lines and other carriers forecast increases in unit revenue for July. At JetBlue, unit revenue was flat in June after rising 1 percent in May and falling 9 percent in April.