|Operating bases||John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York City)|
|Company slogan||You Above All|
|Parent company||Deutsche Lufthansa AG (15.85%), JetBlue Airways Corporation|
Long Island City, New York
|Revenue||US$ 5.441 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||US$ 376 million (2012)|
|Net income||US$ 128 million (2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 7.1 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 1.9 billion (2012)|
JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU), commonly called jetBlue, is an American low-cost airline. The company is headquartered in the Long Island City neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens, with its main base at John F. Kennedy International Airport. It also maintains a corporate office in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
The airline mainly serves destinations in the United States, along with flights to the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico. As of October 2013, JetBlue serves 84 destinations in 24 states and 12 countries in the Caribbean, South America and Latin America.
JetBlue was incorporated in Delaware in August 1998. David Neeleman founded the company in February 1999, under the name "NewAir." Several of JetBlue's executives, including Neeleman, are former Southwest Airlines employees. JetBlue started by following Southwest's approach of offering low-cost travel, but sought to distinguish itself by its amenities, such as in-flight entertainment, TV at every seat and Sirius satellite radio. In Neeleman's words, JetBlue looks "to bring humanity back to air travel."
In September 1999, the airline was awarded 75 initial take off/landing slots at John F. Kennedy International Airport and received formal U.S. authorization in February 2000. It started operations on February 11, 2000, with service to Buffalo and Ft. Lauderdale.
JetBlue's founders had set out to call the airline "Taxi" and therefore have a yellow livery to associate the airline with New York. The idea was dropped, however, for several reasons: the negative connotation behind New York City taxis; the ambiguity of the word taxi with regard to air traffic control; and threats from investor JP Morgan to pull its share ($20 million of the total $128 million) of the airline's initial funding unless the name was changed.
The airline sector responded to JetBlue's market presence by starting mini-rival carriers: Delta Air Lines started Song and United Airlines launched another rival called Ted. Song has since been disbanded and was reabsorbed by Delta Air Lines and United reabsorbed Ted.
In October 2005, JetBlue's quarterly profit had plunged from US$8.1 million to $2.7 million largely due to rising fuel costs. Operational issues, fuel prices and low fares, JetBlue's hallmark, were bringing its financial performance down. In addition, with higher costs related to the airline's numerous amenities, JetBlue was becoming less competitive.
Regardless, the airline continued to plan for growth. Thirty-six new aircraft were scheduled for delivery in the year 2006.
For many years, analysts had predicted that JetBlue's growth rate would become unsustainable. Despite this, the airline continued to add planes and routes to the fleet at a brisk pace. In addition in 2006, the IAM (International Association of Machinists) attempted to unionize JetBlue's "ramp service workers," in a move that was described by JetBlue's COO Dave Barger as "pretty hypocritical," as the IAM opposed JetBlue's creation when it was founded as New Air in 1998. The union organizing petition was dismissed by the National Mediation Board because fewer than 35 percent of eligible employees supported an election.
JetBlue experienced its first ever quarterly loss during 4th quarter 2005, when the airline lost $42.4 million, enough to make them unprofitable for the entire year of 2005. The loss was the airline's first since going public in 2002. JetBlue also reported a loss in the 1st quarter 2006. In addition to that, JetBlue forecast a loss for 2006, citing high fuel prices, operating inefficiency and fleet costs. During the first quarter report, CEO David Neeleman, President Dave Barger and then-CFO John Owen released JetBlue's "Return to Profitability" ("RTP") plan, stating in detail how they would curtail costs and improve revenue to regain profitability. The plan called for $50 million in annual cost cuts and a push to boost revenue by $30 million. JetBlue Airways moved out of the red during the second quarter of 2006, beating Wall Street expectations by announcing a net profit of $14 million. That result was flat when compared to JetBlue's results from the same quarter a year before ($13 million), but it was double Wall Street forecasts of a $7 million profit, Reuters reports. The carrier said cost-cutting and stronger revenue helped it offset higher jet fuel costs. In October 2006, JetBlue announced a net loss of $500,000 for Quarter 3, and a plan to regain that loss by deferring some of their E190 deliveries and by selling 5 of their A320s.
In December 2006, JetBlue, as part of their RTP plan, removed a row of seats from their A320s to lighten the aircraft by 904 lb (410 kg) and reduce the inflight crew size from four to three (per FAA regulation requiring one flight attendant per 50 seats), thus offsetting the lost revenue from the removal of seats, and further lightening the aircraft, resulting in less fuel burned.
In January 2007, JetBlue returned to profitability with a fourth quarter profit for 2006, reversing a quarterly loss in the year-earlier period. As part of the RTP plan, 2006's full year loss was $1 million compared to 2005's full year loss of $20 million. JetBlue was one of the few major airlines to post a profit in the quarter.
While its financial performance started showing signs of improvement, in February 2007, JetBlue faced a crisis, when a snowstorm hit the Northeast and Midwest, throwing the airline's operations into chaos. Because JetBlue followed the practice of never canceling flights, it desisted from calling flights off, even when the ice storm hit and the airline was forced to keep several planes on the ground. Because of this, passengers were kept waiting at the airports for their flights to take off. In some cases, passengers who had already boarded their planes were kept waiting on the tarmac for several hours and were not allowed to disembark. However, after all this, the airline was eventually forced to cancel most of its flights because of prevailing weather conditions. The fiasco reportedly cost JetBlue $30 million.
In 2007 JetBlue was also facing reliability problems with its Embraer 190 fleet. For a couple months JetBlue contracted ExpressJet to operate four Embraer 145 regional jets on behalf of JetBlue. While this was going on two E-190 aircraft at a time were sent to an Embraer maintenance facility in Nashville, TN. ExpressJet operated routes between Boston Logan and Buffalo, NY and Washington Dulles and between New York JFK and Columbus, OH and Richmond, VA.
On May 10, 2007, David Barger was appointed as CEO, who also retained the position of President. Neeleman, who was named non-executive Chairman of the Board, said "This is a natural evolution of our leadership structure as JetBlue continues to grow. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, I will focus on developing JetBlue's long-term vision and strategy and how we can continue to be a preferred product in a commodity business."
On July 24, 2007, JetBlue reported that its second-quarter revenue increased to $730 million, compared to $612 in 2006. Second quarter net income grew to $21 million for the quarter, from $14 million the previous year. CEO David Barger said the airline will take delivery of three fewer planes this year and will sell three planes from their current fleet, "slowing capacity growth...to strengthen our balance sheet and facilitate earnings growth", but will continue to add two to four new destinations each year.
In July 2007, the airline partnered with 20th Century Fox's film The Simpsons Movie to become the "Official Airline of Springfield." In addition a contest was held in which the grand prize would be a trip on JetBlue to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of the film. The airline's website was also redecorated with characters and their favorite JetBlue destinations and the company was taken over by the show/film's businessman villain Montgomery Burns.
JetBlue expanded service to the Caribbean, including to St. Maarten and Puerto Plata commencing January 10, 2008. With these additional destinations, JetBlue serves a total of twelve Caribbean/Atlantic destinations including Aruba; Barbados; Bermuda; Cancún; Nassau; Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
On November 8, 2007, JetBlue appointed Ed Barnes as interim CFO, following the resignation of former CFO John Harvey.
On December 13, 2007, JetBlue and Germany-based Lufthansa announced their intent to sell 19% of JetBlue to Lufthansa, pending approval from US regulators. Following the acquisition, Lufthansa stated they plan to seek operational cooperation with JetBlue. Lufthansa plans to offer connections to JetBlue flights in Boston, New York (JFK), and Orlando International Airport.
In the March edition of Airways Magazine, it was announced that once JetBlue partnered with Yahoo! and with BlackBerry producer Research in Motion, that the airline would offer free, limited Wi-Fi capabilities on a single aircraft, N651JB, an Airbus A320-200 dubbed "BetaBlue." People access e-mail with a Wi-Fi capable Blackberry, or use Yahoo!'s e-mail and instant messaging with a Wi-Fi capable laptop, while in flight over the US. LiveTV in Melbourne Florida, created and operated the "BetaBlue" prototype. The "BetaBlue" system utilized the bandwidth and infrastructure of defunct Airfone 
On March 19, 2008, JetBlue added Orlando, Florida as a gateway focus city to international destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. New international routes from Orlando International Airport include Cancún, Mexico, Bridgetown, Barbados, Bogotá, Colombia, Nassau, Bahamas, San José, Costa Rica and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In conjunction with the addition of new routes the airline will continue significant expansion of operations at Orlando International Airport including a planned 292-room lodge that will house trainees attending the existing "JetBlue University" training facility.
On April 8, 2008, JetBlue introduced a new "Happy Jetting" brand campaign. The marketing campaign, developed in partnership with JWT New York, emphasizes competitive fares, service and complimentary onboard amenities such as free satellite television and radio, snacks and leather seats.
On August 4, 2008, the Associated Press reported that JetBlue would replace their recycled pillows and blankets with an "ecofriendly" pillow and blanket package that passengers would have to purchase for use. Each package will cost $7, and will include a $5 coupon from retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond. This decision is the latest in a series of moves designed to increase revenue. JetBlue told the Associated Press that it expects to collect $40 million from passengers selecting seats with extra legroom and $20 million from passengers paying $15 to check a second bag. As of September 8, 2008[update] JetBlue charges passengers $10–$30 for an extended-leg-room seat depending on the length of the flight.
On October 13, 2009, the airline unveiled a modification to its livery in commemoration of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the airline in February 2010. Besides a new tail design, the revised livery includes larger "billboard" titles extending down over the passenger windows at the front of the aircraft. The logo word 'jetBlue' will no longer be silver and blue but now a dark, navy blue.
- JetBlue's JFK Terminal 5
On October 22, 2008 JetBlue opened its new primary hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Terminal 5, or simply T5. The mostly new terminal, costing approximately $800 million, partially encircles the historic TWA Flight Center, the former Trans World Airlines terminal designed by Eero Saarinen, which remains closed. According to the plan, passengers will eventually be able to check in for flights in the landmark building, then transfer to the new structure via the original passenger departing-arrival tubes from Saarinen's original terminal and its 1969 addition by Roche-Dinkeloo.
The first flight arrived from Bob Hope Airport (B6 #358) at 5:06 am followed by arrivals from Oakland International Airport and Long Beach Airport, respectively. The last flight to operate out of T6 was a departure to Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, departing at 11:59 pm.
On June 16, 2010, JetBlue began selling snack boxes on Airbus A320 flights over 3 hours, 45 minutes. There are 5 options for $6 each.
In March 22, 2010, JetBlue turned down incentives from the City of Orlando and announced its headquarters would keep its Forest Hills office, start leasing and using a new office in the Brewster Building in Long Island City, New York. in Queens Plaza in Long Island City, move its headquarters there in mid-2012, and start a joint branding deal with New York State using the iconic I Love NY logo.
On October 14, 2010, the California Council of the Blind and three individuals with visual impairments have filed a lawsuit against JetBlue Airways in Federal Court on allegations that JetBlue's website and airport kiosks are not accessible.
On October 18, 2011, CFO Ed Barnes resigned, effective immediately. The company's treasurer, Mark Powers, was appointed interim CFO until a replacement for Barnes could be found.
On June 13, 2012, JetBlue ranked 'Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low Cost Carriers in North America' by J.D. Power and Associates, a customer satisfaction recognition received for the eighth year in a row.
In October 2013, JetBlue introduced Mint, a premium cabin service on transcontinental flights. The service began in 2014, using the Airbus A321-200 aircraft ordered by JetBlue. These planes are outfitted with winglets, as well as with "lie flat" seats and moveable partitions that can create small suites on the airplane. Called "Mint" by JetBlue, these planes are configured with 16 business-class seats and 143 economy seats, instead of an all-economy configuration of 190 seats.
On September 18, 2014, Dave Barger announced his resignation from the company effective February 16, 2015, following several reports that investors and the board were unhappy with his performance. He was replaced on the board and as CEO by Robin Hayes.
As of February 1, 2015, JetBlue Airways flies to over 87 destinations in multiple countries, some countries include Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Saint Maarten, Puerto Rico, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.
On February 6, 2007, USA Today reported that JetBlue plans to enter into an alliance with Irish flagship carrier Aer Lingus. The alliance will facilitate easy transfers to both airlines' customers, but will not allow either airline to sell seats on the other airline, unlike traditional codeshare alliances, meaning customers must make individual reservations with both carriers, the newspaper said. On February 1, 2008, JetBlue announced the details of this alliance. Passengers will be able to connect between Aer Lingus and JetBlue in New York/JFK or Boston Logan on a single ticket, which can be booked through both airlines' websites. The booking will be started with one airline and then transferred to the other airline's website to complete the booking. CEO David Barger was quoted as saying if this alliance is successful, JetBlue may be interested in partnering with other international carriers.
On December 14, 2007, Cranky Flier reported Lufthansa revealing its plans made with JetBlue. Lufthansa and JetBlue are reported to be investigating linking reservation systems and frequent flyer programs. By making use of JetBlue's North America routes as a feeder network, Lufthansa would be in a position to operate a quasi-hub at New York-JFK and Boston Logan International Airport.
As of February 2010[update], JetBlue transitioned reservation systems from OpenSkies to Sabre per agreement with European partner Lufthansa. The new system allows JetBlue to codeshare and transfer bags and passengers better between the two carriers.
According to Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airways, the airline is currently considering becoming a member of a global airline alliance. Since Lufthansa owns a 15.85% stake in JetBlue, Star Alliance seems to be the most likely choice. JetBlue already partners with Lufthansa, as well as Aer Lingus, which currently is not part of an alliance.
On March 31, American Airlines and JetBlue agreed to interline routes between the two airlines. Eighteen of JetBlue's destinations that are not served by American and twelve of American's international destinations from John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport are included in the agreement. The deal began in July 2010. Also, American is giving JetBlue 16 slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for 8 round trips and 2 at Westchester County Airport. In return, JetBlue is giving American 12 slots or 6 round trips at JFK Airport.
JetBlue began an interline agreement with South African Airways on May 12, 2010, with Virgin Atlantic Airways on March 22, 2011, with Jet Airways on November 2, 2011, and with Air China on June 12, 2012. JetBlue and Air China also plan to enter a codeshare agreement by Fall 2012 subject to government approval.
JetBlue does not participate in any major global airline alliances, but the airline has interline and codeshare agreements with several airlines. Many of these airlines are members of global airline alliances.
- Aer Lingus
- Air China
- Asiana Airlines
- Avianca Airlines
- British Airways
- Cape Air
- Cathay Pacific
- China Airlines
- El Al
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- Hainan Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Korean Air
- LAN Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Seaborne Airlines
- Silver Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAM Airlines
- Transaero Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
As of February 2015, the JetBlue Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 8.5 years:
|Airbus A320neo||—||30||TBA||Deliveries begin 2016.|
|10||1||16||41||102||159||Two-class configuration with premium Mint Cabin interiors. Used only on JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights.|
|Embraer 190||60||24||0||16||84||100||Launch Customer.|
Nearly every plane in JetBlue's fleet (except for the transcontinental A321 fleet) is named with a designation containing some form of the word "blue" (the transcontinental A321 fleet uses variations of the word "mint" to denote their multi-class configuration), with four exceptions. The only plane that has not been named by a JetBlue employee is tail number N655JB, "Blue 100," which was named by the company in celebration for JetBlue's 100th Airbus A320. Also, the plane had its own original tail fin.
JetBlue previously had its headquarters in the Forest Hills Tower in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City. The previous Forest Hills facility is 6 miles (9.7 km) from the current office in Long Island City. In the summer of 2001 the airline announced that it wanted to take 74,000 square feet (6,900 m2) of space in the Forest Hills Tower. By December 2002 the airline announced that it planned to increase its leased space and use contiguous and efficient floor plates. Steven Cuozzo of the New York Post said that the JetBlue plan was "possibly the largest office lease" in Queens in 2002. In December 2002 between 600 and 800 JetBlue employees worked at the Forest Hills Tower. Prior to the move to the Forest Hills Tower, the airline headquarters were across the street, at 80–02 Kew Gardens Rd.
In 2009 JetBlue announced that it was looking for a new location for its headquarters. The company began considering moving the headquarters either within the New York City metropolitan area or to the Orlando, Florida area. In April of that year Helen Marshall, the president of the Borough of Queens, said that the City of New York was trying to keep JetBlue in the city. Her spokesperson, Dan Andrews, said that the mayor's office looked for office space in Queens and in other boroughs. In January 2010 the CEO of JetBlue, Dave Barger, and Governor of Florida Charlie Crist met at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida to discuss a possible headquarters move to Orlando. Barger said that he anticipated that JetBlue would decide whether to move by March 2010. JetBlue officials stated that if the airline moves its headquarters, it would not happen until 2012, when its lease in the Forest Hills Tower expires.
On March 22, 2010 JetBlue announced it will remain in the New York City area. Its new headquarters are in Long Island City, in the borough of Queens. Barger stated that the airline decided to keep the headquarters in New York City because of the airline's historical links to New York City, the cost of relocating most of the airline's staff, the airline's desire to retain access to financial markets, and the fact that Aer Lingus and Lufthansa, JetBlue's international marketing partners, fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport. JetBlue plans to combine its Forest Hills and Darien, Connecticut offices, together about 1,000 employees, into about 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) in the Brewster Building in Long Island City by mid-2012.
- Crew Bases
JetBlue operates five bases for its pilots and inflight crewmembers:
- Boston Logan International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale International Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Long Beach Airport
- Orlando International Airport
JetBlue’s first major advertising campaign incorporated phrases like “Unbelievable” and “We like you, too”. Full-page newspaper advertisements boasted low-fares, new aircraft, leather seats, spacious legroom and a customer-service-oriented staff committed to “bringing humanity back to air travel.” With a goal of raising the bar for in-flight experience, JetBlue became the first airline to offer all passengers personalized in-flight entertainment. In April 2000, flat-screen monitors installed in every seatback allow customers live access to over 20 DIRECTV channels at no additional cost.
As JetBlue gained market share, they found a unique positioning where they competed with other low-cost carriers (i.e. Southwest, Frontier) as well as major carriers (i.e. Delta, United and American). Amenities such as their live in-flight television, free and unlimited snack offerings, comfortable legroom, and unique promotions fostered an image of impeccable customer service that rivaled the major airlines while competitive low fares made them a threat to low-cost no-frills carriers as well.
During the company’s growth stage, advertising messages moved from the engaging and customer oriented to less personal slogans and campaigns. Frequent changes in its values statements resulted in mixed and frequently wasted marketing dollars spent. Slogans varied from “More” to “Happy Jetting” and many other failed attempts.
A new marketing strategy has been partnerships with professional sports teams and venues. As the official airline of the New York Jets, JetBlue has specially painted the exterior of one of their Airbus A320s (N746JB) in the team's colors. Aircraft N605JB is based on the design of the Boston Red Sox road uniform and sports a grey fuselage with navy lettering. This aircraft was unveiled in February 2012, just in time for the opening of the Red Sox new spring training facility in Fort Myers, FL named JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Additionally, JetBlue and MasterCard have pledged to refund select flight purchases made online at JetBlue.com using a MasterCard. JetBlue has also partnered with various other sports teams and sporting venues in cities they serve.
JetBlue also utilizes various forms of advertising media. They use print, online, and television ads as well as advertisements on popular social media sites including Hulu.com and YouTube.com. JetBlue emphasizes a secondary slogan “If you wouldn’t take it on the ground, don’t take it in the air” poking fun at competitors with hidden fees, little or no amenities and what JetBlue considers an unacceptable level of customer service.
According to Martin St. George, senior vice president of marketing and commercial strategy at JetBlue, the new “You Above All” campaign was created to get JetBlue back to their “DNA” and speak to the “core of who we are as a brand.” This motto is meant to support their efforts to always put the customer first and “bring humanity back to air travel”.
- Customer Bill of Rights
In February 2007, a Valentine's Day storm triggered an “organizational meltdown” leading to an extremely high level of cancellations and controversies. For example, some passengers were held on board their plane awaiting clearance for take off for nearly 11 hours before they returned to their gate and the flight was cancelled.
Various consumer rights organizations and activists called for the creation of a government mandated “Bill of Rights” to protect air travelers from future experiences similar to the one previously described. On February 20, 2007, JetBlue released an apologetic response to the events that had taken place less than a week before with the creation of their Customer Bill of Rights, which offers financial reciprocation if a customer's flight is delayed or cancelled.
JetBlue's frequent-flyer program is called TrueBlue. Under the original TrueBlue program, flights were worth two, four, or six points based on distance of the flights, and double points were awarded for flights booked online.
In September 2009, JetBlue made changes to its TrueBlue program. In the new program, members receive three points for every dollar spent toward a flight, excluding taxes and fees; members earn an additional three points for every dollar spent on a flight if they book online on the JetBlue.com website. An additional two points are awarded if the member uses JetBlue cobranded American Express credit card to purchase the flight. The price of flights in points depend on the fare of the flight in U.S. dollars. The new program launched on November 9, 2009.
In June 2013, JetBlue announced that TrueBlue points will never expire for any reason. The current policy states that if you book a flight on jetblue.com, you earn double with 6 points per dollar. Flights bought elsewhere result in 3 points per dollar spent.
Incidents and accidents
JetBlue has had six incidents involving its aircraft, although none have resulted in any casualties or hull losses.
- September 21, 2005: Flight 292 en route from Burbank, California, to New York City performed an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport (pictured on the right) following a failure of the front landing gear during retraction when it turned 90 degrees. The plane landed after holding for about three hours to burn fuel and lighten the aircraft. The aircraft came to a stop without incident on runway 25L, the third-longest runway at LAX. The only apparent damage to the plane upon landing was the destruction of the front wheels, which were ground down to almost semicircles, and the tires; the front landing strut held. The passengers were unable to see themselves landing despite the DirecTV service in each seat, as it was turned off well before landing.
- August 9, 2010 Flight 1052 The incident involved a flight attendant after JetBlue Airways Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh to New York City landed. The incident garnered significant media attention when, upon landing, Steven Slater, a flight attendant, announced over the plane's public address system that he had been abused by a passenger and that he quit his job. He then grabbed two beers and exited the plane by deploying the evacuation slide and sliding down it. Slater claimed to have been injured by a passenger when he instructed her to sit down. Slater's account of the event was not corroborated by others.
- March 27, 2012: an incident on Flight 191 involved the captain being locked out of the cockpit and being subdued by passengers following a panic attack.
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- Blue Streak by Barbara S. Peterson, Portfolio, 2004 (ISBN 1-59184-058-9)
- Flying High by James Wynbrandt, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2004 (ISBN 0-471-65544-9)
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