based at John F. Kennedy International Airport
in New York City
. jetBlue started service between New York and Fort Lauderdale
in 2000 and now serves nineteen cities with twenty-eight Airbus A320
aircraft. Even though their tickets are ridiculously cheap ($79 one-way from New York to South Florida
, $134 from New York to LA
) and their service is top-notch (albeit without meals, but you can get 24 channels of DirecTV
in your leather seat), their financial success has been spectacular: they now have another 104
A320's on order.
jetBlue is the current project of David Neeleman, former CEO of Morris Air (now part of Southwest Airlines) and Canadian low-cost carrier Westjet, and creator of the Open Skies reservations system. Neeleman was able to obtain $130 million in venture capital to buy jetBlue's aircraft and its 75 landing slots at Kennedy.
For all you aspiring airline managers out there, jetBlue attributes its success to (begin quote straight from the pr department's collective mouth):
- Start with a lot of money.
JetBlue is the best-capitalized airline start-up in history. This means we are able to
invest in the best product available. You'll see it in our new planes, comfy leather seats,
free satellite TV and fast check-in technology.
- Fly new planes.
Our fleet of new Airbus A320s comes with a host of advantages. New aircraft are more
reliable, so they spend less time on the ground where they don't make money. They're more
efficient, so we spend less on fuel than other carriers. In fact, contrary to what you may
have heard, the youngest fleet in the sky belongs to JetBlue.
- Hire the best people.
JetBlue screens employees rigorously, trains them well and gives them the best tools.
That means our people are motivated and service-oriented. We love changing the industry for
the better! It's what gets us out of bed in the morning.
- Focus on Service.
By offering our customers the best experience we can deliver, we find most of them
come back regularly and tell their friends and family about us. It's not rocket science...
our customers have given us incredible word-of-mouth recommendations. (And for that, we will
always be grateful.)