JetBlue Strengthens Commitment as New York’s Hometown Airline® With Intention to Keep Headquarters in New York City, Advance World-Class Terminal Project at JFK

·16 min read

JetBlue keeps its flag firmly planted in New York City as the city begins to recover from COVID

World-class Terminal 6 project to move forward, setting up JetBlue’s long-term low-fare leadership position at JFK

JetBlue plans to add more than 1,800 jobs at New York City-area airports as part of its Northeast Alliance, supporting economic activity across Queens and the tri-state region

NEW YORK, August 03, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York’s Hometown Airline®, today announced plans to double down on its commitment to New York by maintaining its headquarters in the city and advancing plans to expand its flagship terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). These initiatives further strengthen JetBlue’s presence in New York, where it has already announced plans to substantially increase flying and bring more low fares and more jobs to JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark as part of its Northeast Alliance with American Airlines.

"Some people call New York the Big Apple. Others call it the center of the universe. At JetBlue, we call it home," said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. "Our unique brand and culture have been embraced by millions of New Yorkers for more than two decades, and we remain committed to helping bring this iconic city back from one of the greatest crises it has ever faced. A lot of out-of-town airlines like to talk big about New York City, but as the only airline based right here, no one knows like we do why this city has always been – and still is – such a great place to live, work and visit."

"I would like to thank all of our partners and supporters for their collaboration. I’d especially like to thank Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been our steadfast friend and strong supporter since our founding 21 years ago, always realizing the importance of JetBlue’s low fares in our eight Empire State airports, the jobs they add to the economy and the importance of having our head office based right here in New York City," Hayes said. "No one has been there more in the most pivotal moments of our history, leading the way for crucial payroll support during this pandemic through the CARES Act, allowing us to continue our record of never furloughing a single crewmember."

"Today’s announcements from JetBlue affirm New York’s continued recovery from the darkest days of the pandemic," said United States Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. "Thousands of new jobs connected to JetBlue’s growing presence at JFK, paired with the company re-affirming its commitment to being NYC’s hometown airline are great news. During the pandemic, I shepherded unprecedented relief to the aviation sector that saved hundreds of thousands of jobs and the entire airline industry. I am encouraged that having survived the worst of it, JetBlue is adding jobs, reinvesting, and recommitting to New York."

"JetBlue is a true-blue New York company, proudly serving as our hometown airline for more than 20 years and actively promoting travel to all corners of the Empire State," said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York. "The company's commitment to keep its headquarters in Long Island City, Queens and invest in a new, modern Terminal 6 at JFK International Airport is a testament to New York's position as a global leader in business and travel, and the state's positive outlook for a post-pandemic economic recovery. New York and JetBlue have enjoyed a productive partnership – one that we intend to continue – and with the construction of Terminal 6, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors, travelers and residents alike to explore all our state has to offer."

"I’m proud of New York’s Hometown Airline for keeping their team in the greatest city in the world," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City. "New York City is building a recovery for all of us, and that means keeping iconic companies like JetBlue here at home. We’re excited to keep them around and we look forward to years of collaboration to come."

"JetBlue is a valuable corporate partner here in Queens, and I am overjoyed they will keep their headquarters in Long Island City," Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. said. "By remaining here in Queens, our borough is connected to one of the world’s largest airlines and entrusted with thousands of jobs that will surely revitalize our economy. It was a privilege to work with Robin Hayes and the entire JetBlue team these past few months as I advocated for the airline to stay. Queens is flying high today and open for business."

JetBlue Keeps Its Flag Firmly Planted in New York City

After an in-depth review and competitive bid process, JetBlue today announced its intention to keep its headquarters in New York City when its current office lease expires in 2023. The decision comes as the airline industry is recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic, which has also shifted how people will work in office environments in the future.

JetBlue plans to stay at its current home in the Brewster Building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City, where the company has been based since 2012 and is home to its iconic rooftop sign. JetBlue intends to negotiate and execute a lease over the next few months and then re-design its office space to be responsive to rapidly evolving workplace trends that have accelerated during the pandemic.

The Brewster Building was built in 1911 and is where the Brewster Aeronautical Company manufactured the Brewster F2A (a.k.a. The Brewster Buffalo), the first monoplane fighter airplane used by the U.S. Navy in World War II.

"New York is in JetBlue’s DNA and inspires everything we do," Hayes said. "Our comprehensive review found that keeping our headquarters in the city was the right thing for our crewmembers, our brand, and our business. We’re confident in the city’s commitment to bring back NYC stronger than ever on multiple fronts, including public safety, economic recovery, and travel and tourism. And at JetBlue we’re ready to do our part as well by advancing sustainability and diversity initiatives in the city, partnering with local organizations across the region, and activating thousands of crewmembers to volunteer in our communities."

Orlando is home to JetBlue’s training facility and a number of corporate support functions. JetBlue subsidiary JetBlue Travel Products is based in Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue is one of the leading carriers in both markets.

"Even as our heart and soul remain in New York, we couldn’t be more pleased with the presence we’ve built in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale over the years and will continue to have campuses there that serve the diverse needs of the company," Hayes said.

"As ‘New York’s Hometown Airline,’ JetBlue’s corporate headquarters has had a mutually beneficial relationship with Queens since the company’s founding, and I am thrilled they have decided to stay in Long Island City," said U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, New York District 12. "This decision is critical to New York City’s economic development and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. New York City is the top tourist and travel destination in the United States, and the current location of JetBlue’s headquarters stands in affirmation of that fact. I am overjoyed that JetBlue will be staying right in the heart of our great city, while expanding its investments in New York’s airports and bringing more jobs to the area through their Northeast Alliance. I look forward to seeing this partnership soar for decades to come."

"I congratulate JetBlue on the decision to remain in Queens as the New York City hometown airline. JetBlue and New York City have been successful partners for over 20 years and their commitment to remain in New York will ensure that their partnership will continue to benefit the City of New York and JetBlue," said Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, New York District 5.

"I’m thrilled that JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline, will keep the heart of its operations here in Long Island City, Queens!" said New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, District 26. "JetBlue’s arrival in LIC over a decade ago was met with great excitement and their sign atop the Brewster building has become an iconic local landmark. Just as exciting is JetBlue’s commitment to add over 1,000 new jobs in the area as it also expands its footprint here in Queens with a new state-of-the-art Terminal 6. This is a very good day for our district and all of New York City!"

A World Class Terminal 6 Begins to Take Shape

In addition to its corporate presence, the airline continues to further plans to bring more air service to New Yorkers across the region’s three airports. Its flagship Terminal 5 at JFK has been celebrated for its customer-friendly design and facilities, and Governor Cuomo today announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) will approve plans to develop a world-class terminal on the Terminals 6 and 7 sites.

The new Terminal 6 project will seamlessly integrate with Terminal 5, building on JetBlue’s award-winning customer experience while expanding the airline’s footprint farther into the north side of the airport. It helps secure JetBlue’s long-term future at JFK with opportunities for new gates starting in 2025, and offers partner airlines the ability to co-locate with JetBlue to improve connectivity for customers.

The Terminal 6 project will be developed and operated by JFK Millennium Partners (JMP), a private consortium comprised of JetBlue; Vantage Airport Group, an industry leading investor, developer and manager of award-winning global airport projects, including as a member of the consortium that built LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B; American Triple I (ATI), a 100% minority- and woman-owned investor, owner, developer, and manager of infrastructure assets and infrastructure focused companies that seek to spur economic growth and development in markets across the U.S.; and RXR Realty, a leading New York-based real estate operating and development company.

The $3.9 billion, 1.2 million square foot terminal is set to replace aging existing facilities, and will be designed to accommodate both wide-body gates and narrow-body gates, as well as bright and airy check-in halls and arrival spaces designed to enhance the customer experience. Customers will enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of commercial dining and retail amenities, lounges, and recreational spaces. The new terminal will also include critical infrastructure improvements to the airport’s roadways, optimizing traffic flow and transportation access at the airport, and incorporate the latest advances in both sustainability and security.

According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the development of Terminal 6 is expected to result in over 4,000 direct jobs (both on-site and off-site) and direct payroll wages of $1.9 billion. The total economic activity impact from the project amounts to nearly $2.8 billion in total wages and $6.3 billion in total economic activity.

"We set out to support the governor’s vision to modernize JFK into a world-class airport," Hayes said. "Terminal 5 has been a huge success, and we are so pleased to have an opportunity to expand our presence with new gates in a new terminal. The team putting this project together is setting out to develop a terminal that New Yorkers can be proud of."

JetBlue will also expand its footprint at LaGuardia Airport beyond its current space at the historic Marine Air Terminal and partially move into the airport’s recently opened and state-of-the-art Terminal B later this year with plans to move completely in 2022. At Newark, JetBlue will also move, relocating to the new Terminal A in 2022.

"At the height of the pandemic, when JFK Airport was seeing an unthinkable two percent of its pre-COVID record-breaking passenger volumes, we never lost sight of finding a path forward for this world-class terminal under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership," said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. "We thank our dedicated team, our partners, and the City of New York for the extraordinary effort to revive this deal and turn JFK Airport into the modern global gateway that New Yorkers deserve, and we are very pleased that JetBlue has affirmed its commitment to New York through major infrastructure development, and by keeping its headquarters right here in Queens."

"On behalf of JFK Millennium Partners, we are delighted to celebrate JetBlue’s continued commitment to New York with today’s announcement. We are proud to partner with JetBlue and the Port Authority to create another spectacular New York airport terminal at JFK’s Terminal 6, one which will welcome and wow JetBlue’s customers, and reflect the diversity and talent of the community it serves," said George Casey, chair and CEO, Vantage Airport Group on behalf of JFK Millennium Partners (Vantage Airport Group, American Triple I & RXR Realty).

JetBlue Loves New York

JetBlue plans to add more than 1,800 jobs at New York City airports thanks to new flights and destinations it is adding as a result of its Northeast Alliance with American Airlines. JetBlue plans to nearly triple its flights at LaGuardia and substantially increase flying at JFK and Newark. With this planned growth, JetBlue will continue to work with New York state to market the airline as New York’s Hometown Airline® and bring visibility for the high-quality, low-fare air service that it offers at eight airports across the Empire State.

As part of this commitment to work together, JetBlue and the state are planning to extend their joint branding agreement of the world-recognized I LOVE NY logo, an unprecedented partnership with the State's iconic brand, and collaborate on showcasing the Empire State experience at locations within the airline’s JFK terminal. In partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), JetBlue and NYC will partner to continue advancing shared priorities related to a diverse and inclusive workplace, including hiring and workforce development, and climate change.

"JetBlue has laid out plans for incredible growth in JFK, LaGuardia and Newark, driven by our new alliance with American Airlines," Hayes said. "We are bringing more competition, great low fares, and incredible JetBlue service across New York’s airports, and that growth means more jobs and more investment in New York City. We believe in New York’s potential and stand ready to help this city recover, and are thankful for the opportunity to work with the city and state to co-market the high value air service we are providing."

"JetBlue’s continued presence and partnership in New York is the direct result of what happens when the public and private sectors work creatively and collaboratively to advance common goals," said Steven M. Cohen, chairman of Empire State Development. "As tourism, travel and business development continue to pick up, JetBlue aircraft bearing the classic I LOVE NY logo will send a strong, optimistic signal beyond our state’s borders. This agreement would not have been possible without the collective dedication and extraordinary cooperation of everyone involved – New York City, NYC EDC, the Port Authority, the MTA, JetBlue and my hardworking colleagues at ESD."

"Today’s announcement by JetBlue is another example that New York City is open for business," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Rachel Loeb. "JetBlue is a New York success story. From its humble beginning in Forest Hills to its corporate headquarters in Long Island City, the City and State have been working closely with JetBlue to make sure that our hometown airline writes its next chapter right here in the greatest city in the world. We are delighted to have been instrumental in bringing all the parties to the table to get this deal done for the people of New York and continue to keep business to the city."

"We are proud to have collaborated with NYC EDC and ESD to keep JetBlue growing in NYC and we look forward to building upon this announcement to bring more visitation to the five boroughs in the years to come," said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company’s president and CEO.

"We were overjoyed when JetBlue first committed to a Long Island City (LIC) headquarters in 2012, announcing its arrival with an iconic rooftop sign," said Elizabeth Lusskin, president, LIC Partnership and executive director, LIC BID. "Since then, JetBlue’s leadership as a corporation, neighbor and community supporter has been unsurpassed. JetBlue’s recommitment to an LIC headquarters, combined with its investment and expansion at JFK, would be hugely impactful at any time, but coming as NYC struggles to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, it is historic. We look forward to taking LIC, Queens and New York to greater heights together, as we celebrate that for this iconic NYC company, there is simply ‘no place like home.’"

"JetBlue's decision to recommit to Queens is a welcome one for our borough's entire business community, as we forge ahead together in the wake of the pandemic," said Thomas J. Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. "JetBlue has long been known as ‘New York's Hometown Airline,' and we are thrilled that they intend to keep it that way, staying right here in Queens, assuring jobs will remain in Queens and providing a special boost to the Long Island City economy. We were honored to have played a role in the effort. The Queens Chamber looks forward to continued partnership with JetBlue - a valued friend for many years - as we work to get our borough's economy back on track."

David Brause, president of Brause Realty and chairman of the Long Island City Business Improvement District said, "The Brause family is proud and excited to sign this long-term lease with JetBlue to keep New York's Hometown Airline in New York! Our building, built in 1911 for the Brewster Carriage Company, has always had a rich history for transportation companies. In creating a home in the heart of Long Island City, JetBlue has reaffirmed that LIC is not only the geographic center of NYC, but also the heart of NYC! Given the incredibly challenging year we have all experienced, JetBlue's decision to commit to LIC is not just a real estate transaction, but proof that companies still need office space in vibrant neighborhoods with access to the best and brightest people."

About JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. For more information, visit jetblue.com.

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Contacts

JetBlue Corporate Communications
Tel: +1.718.709.3089
corpcomm@jetblue.com

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