Bruce Brodoff Communications
Bruce Brodoff Communications

Jet Blue Airways


JetBlue Airways, founded in 1999, is one of the best-funded and most successful airline start-ups in history.

Since its inaugural flight on February 11, 2000, New York City-based JetBlue now offers non-stop service to 22 cities in ten states and Puerto Rico. With its current fleet of 43 brand new airplanes (increasing to 53 by the end of 2003) and nearly 5,000 employees, JetBlue's phenomenal, continuing growth is a testament to the company's innovative business plan, its strong commitment to customer service, and its decision to base operations in New York City, the nation's largest travel market.


As a start-up, low-cost airline created at a time of industry turmoil, JetBlue needed to successfully implement its growth strategy (increasing the frequency of flights to markets currently served, expanding the number of markets served and increasing flight connection opportunities) in order to survive.

As the company prospered and increased its market share, expanded flight schedules and a growing fleet created demand for additional warehouse and hangar facilities.

Why they chose New York City

With a primary objective of providing reliable service to its customers, JetBlue chose New York City as it is the largest travel market in the United States. Within New York, the company elected to base the airline at John F. Kennedy International Airport over other airports because of its convenience and efficient operations.

JFK International Airport provides JetBlue access to a market of approximately six million potential customers within 15 miles of the airport and approximately 21 million potential customers in the New York metropolitan area. Also attractive to JetBlue was the competitive advantage JFK Airport offers over Newark International Airport. With twice the space, larger facilities, less domestic passenger traffic and one more runway than Newark International, JFK is less congested than Newark and has the capacity for more flight arrivals and departures per day.

JetBlue believes that JFK's multi-billion dollar renovation program and the completion of a train link between the airport and New York City's subway systems will make the airport more accessible for passengers, leading to more domestic traffic at JFK.

JetBlue's corporate headquarters are in Forest Hills, Queens.

How NYCEC helped

As JetBlue was New York City's first start-up airline in several decades, NYCEDC recognized the company's importance and potential and supported them from the very beginning.

NYCEDC was instrumental in helping the company obtain landing and take-off slots at JFK International Airport, reaching out to the Federal Aviation Administration in support of the company's application process.

NYCEDC provides staff to the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA). In June 2003 NYCIDA authorized issuance of $50 million in triple-tax-exempt financing which JetBlue may use to help expand its operations at JFK International Airport.

These Airport Facility Bonds will enable the company to renovate an existing 40,000 square-foot facility for additional warehouse and support operations as well as construct a new 107,000 square foot building that will include a multiple-airplane hangar.

"From the time I started JetBlue Airways in 1999, NYCEDC has been a valuable resource and a powerful advocate for the company," says David Neeleman, JetBlue's Chief Executive Officer. "From helping us secure landing and take-off slots at JFK International Airport to arranging for critical expansion financing, NYCEDC and New York City Industrial Development Agency have provided the support JetBlue needs to continue succeeding."

Case Studies
Video screens
355 SOUTH END AVENUE, SUITE 4M, NEW YORK, NY 10280, TEL: 212.775.0739