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JetBlue Shares Up 15% As Carl Icahn Takes Stake In Airline

Shares of JetBlue Airways (JBLU) are up 15% on news that activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in the embattled airline and is requesting a seat on the board of directors.

Media reports say that Icahn has taken a nearly 10% stake in JetBlue and sees the carrier’s stock as undervalued.

Icahn is now agitating for a seat on the board and wants to help turn the struggling discount airline around.

In a written statement, JetBlue said: “We are always open to constructive dialogue with our investors as we continue to execute our plan to enhance value for all of our shareholders…”

Icahn has a long history of involvement with the airline industry, dating back to the 1980s when he took TWA private before that carrier ultimately filed for bankruptcy.

JetBlue is trying to return to profitability following the Covid-19 pandemic. Its proposed merger with rival discount carrier Spirit Airlines (SAVE) was recently blocked by a federal judge over competition concerns.

JetBlue also recently appointed a new chief executive officer (CEO) in Joanna Geraghty, an industry veteran who took over on Feb. 12, the day that Icahn disclosed his stake in the airline.

Prior to today (Feb. 13), the stock of JetBlue had declined 29% over the last 12 months to trade at $6.07 U.S. per share.