Customers Connect With Wi-Fi Enabled Laptops and Smartphones to
Customized Versions of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger Services
Send and Receive Corporate and Personal E-mail in the Air With RIM's
BlackBerry 8820 and BlackBerry Curve 8320 Smartphones
NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq:JBLU), partnering with Yahoo! (Nasdaq:YHOO), Research In Motion (RIM) (TSX:RIM) (Nasdaq:RIMM) and LiveTV, today becomes the first U.S. domestic carrier to provide complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services, starting with "BetaBlue," the airline's first Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with an onboard wireless network. Customers using Wi-Fi(r) enabled laptops and smartphones can now stay connected to friends, family and colleagues in the air via customized in-flight versions of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, while those with Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry smartphones can access their corporate and personal e-mail.
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BetaBlue, the airline's exclusive trial aircraft for LiveTV products, enables customers to send and receive e-mail and instant messages using in-flight versions of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, the most popular e-mail and instant messaging services in the U.S. Additionally, fliers with Wi-Fi enabled smartphones from RIM, such as the new Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry(r) 8820 or BlackBerry(r) Curve(tm) 8320, will be able to access their BlackBerry e-mail and instant messages.
"JetBlue continues to innovate when it comes to the customer experience, from being the first airline to offer every customer their own television with 36 channels of free entertainment, to today's introduction of free in-flight mail and messaging services," said Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airways. "We are thrilled to be the first to offer in-flight connectivity to today's domestic flier, keeping our customers connected to work and loved ones in the air by providing unique, simple and FREE Wi-Fi services from Yahoo! and BlackBerry. We look forward to continued enhancements of the JetBlue Experience as LiveTV's inventive products rapidly evolve."
"Yahoo!, JetBlue and partners have a history of delighting users with innovative experiences, and now together, we have the opportunity to please travelers and Internet users with an original service they have long been requesting," said Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of Yahoo! Communications and Communities. "As Internet leaders, Yahoo! Mail and Messenger are often the first communication tools that consumers use when they log-on to the Internet, and by launching the first-ever free in-flight communication service, we are giving consumers even more ways to connect with the people who matter most in their lives."
"Wi-Fi technology has given BlackBerry smartphone users more connectivity options than ever before, and BetaBlue makes it possible to keep in touch with the people and information that matter most, even when cruising at 30,000 feet," said Mark Guibert, vice president of Corporate Marketing, Research In Motion. "We're pleased to be working alongside JetBlue and LiveTV on this groundbreaking project."
LiveTV is the world's leading provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines and a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue. LiveTV's FCC-licensed air-to-ground spectrum provides full continental U.S. coverage of Wi-Fi services above 10,000 feet. While e-mail and instant messaging options are available today, additional features can be expected in the near future on BetaBlue, JetBlue's exclusive trial aircraft as new LiveTV products continue to develop.
"The LiveTV tagline is 'At Home in the Air,' and providing customers with free connectivity service through our Kiteline platform helps us to deliver on that promise," said Nate Quigley, CEO of LiveTV. "We know that customers love watching DirecTV and listening to XM Radio while they're above the clouds. We're excited now to help them stay connected to their friends on the ground through our great new partners, Yahoo! and BlackBerry. This continues our vision of bringing the great brands that people love at home into the skies."
JetBlue customers also enjoy free high-speed wireless Internet access in its home base at Terminal 6 in New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport as well as its Long Beach, California location. The JetBlue Experience provides boundless flair in the air -- all at no extra charge to the customer. From comfy, leather seats that provide the most legroom of any other airline in coach to 36 channels of free, live DirecTV programming; from award-winning customer service to free and unlimited name brand snacks. The airline's EMBRAER E190 fleet is also outfitted with more than 100 channels of XM Satellite radio, and the majority of its A320 fleet has been retrofitted with the service.
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including e-mail, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM's portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry(r) wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld(tm) product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com or the company's blog, Yodel Anecdotal.
LiveTV is the world's leading provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue. LiveTV is the provider of JetBlue's in-flight entertainment service -- which was recently recognized by the World Airline Entertainment Association as the Best Overall in-flight entertainment experience in the Americas. LiveTV's customers also include some of the most successful low-cost, low-fare airlines in the world. Headquartered in Florida, LiveTV has installation and maintenance locations around the world to support nearly 500 aircraft equipped with its products. For a full listing of products, services and partners, or for more information, please visit www.livetv.net.
About JetBlue Airways
New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers the most legroom throughout coach (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines). JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with specific and meaningful compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 53 cities with up to 550 daily flights. New service to Puerto Plata and St. Maarten begins in January 2008. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit www.jetblue.com.
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SOURCE: JetBlue Airways Corporation
Brodeur (for RIM)