Jet Blue Airways logoJetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) is an American low-cost airline. The company is headquartered in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. Its main base is John F. Kennedy International Airport, also in Queens.
In 2001, JetBlue began a focus city operation at Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, California, and another at Boston's Logan International Airport, in 2004. It also has focus city operations at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport, Orlando International Airport and at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. The airline mainly serves destinations in the United States, along with flights to the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico. As of February 17, 2011 JetBlue serves 63 destinations in 21 states (including Puerto Rico), and eleven countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
JetBlue maintains a corporate office in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, a satellite office in Darien, Connecticut, and its Information Technology center in Garden City, New York. JetBlue is a non-union airline.
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 on every seat and 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.