On December 13, 2007, jetBlue and Germany-based Lufthansa announced jetBlue's 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 (no longer a connection).
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.
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 (opened in 2015).
In July 2016, jetBlue announced commercial flights from the United States to Cuba will commence in late August. On August 31, 2016, JetBlue Flight 387 from Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport to Abel Santamaría Airport, in Santa Clara, became the first scheduled commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in 55 years. Only charter flights were allowed under previous rules, which required that passengers had to arrive more than 4 hours before the scheduled departure and often endure long lines for documentation checks, late flight arrivals, and pay high baggage fees.
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JetBlue Airways will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with qualified disabilities in accordance with the ADA. If you require a reasonable accommodation for our application process, please contact [email protected] or alternatively send a fax to (718) 504-5338. Requests will be kept confidential and shared strictly on a need-to-know basis only.
jetBlue experienced its first-ever quarterly loss during the fourth quarter of 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 first quarter of 2006. In addition to that, jetBlue forecasted 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.
Following the February 2007 incident in which the airline was forced to cancel nearly 1,700 flights due to winter storms, jetBlue's board of directors replaced founder and Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman with Dave Barger. He had politicked the board, while Neeleman was busy publicly apologizing. Barger's ascendancy caused widespread demoralization in the ranks. He became JetBlue's new Chief Executive Officer on May 10, 2007. Neeleman, the company's founder and largest individual investor, became a nonexecutive chairman as a result of the change.
JetBlue's in-flight options consist of gate-to-gate Fly-Fi service, offering over one hundred channels of DIRECTV, Sirius XM Radio, and movies, and on the Airbus A321, a 15″ interactive video screen which is not available on the rest of the fleet. JetBlue's partnership with Amazon lets customers watch Amazon Prime videos by connecting to Wi-Fi and downloading the Amazon Video app on their mobile phone or tablet. The in-flight WiFi under the "Fly-Fi" network is complimentary on all flights, at speeds of 12–15 megabits per second.
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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.
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.