Fly Aer Lingus to New York's JFK and Connect to JetBlue's 40 Plus
Domestic Destinations; Reserve Seats On Both Carriers Through a
Single Booking Process At www.aerlingus.com
Aer Lingus Transfer Desk At JFK's Terminal 4 Offers Seamless Check-In
and Baggage Drop Services for Customers Connecting
to JetBlue's Terminal 6
NEW YORK and DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 1, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Low-fare, high-frills carrier JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq:JBLU) and Aer Lingus (LSE:AERL), Ireland's low-fares counterpart, today officially announced their industry-first strategic partnership will come into effect on April 3, 2008.
The innovative partnership will enable Irish and U.S. customers to book a single low fare reservation between Ireland and more than 40 continental U.S. destinations, connecting through JetBlue's home base at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The partnership is made possible by a sophisticated, easy-to-use booking process which will be live on www.aerlingus.com from April 3, 2008 for travel by the end of April. Customers booking through www.jetblue.com will be quickly transferred with one click to www.aerlingus.com to complete their booking.
Upon arrival to JFK and after customs clearance, Aer Lingus customers connecting to a domestic JetBlue flight can conveniently check-in and drop their bags at Aer Lingus' transfer desk in the arrivals lobby at Terminal 4. Once complete, customers can travel via the AirTrain to JetBlue's Terminal 6 for their domestic connection. Customers traveling from the U.S. to Ireland will be able to check their bags at their JetBlue domestic destination and will pick them up again in Dublin or Shannon.
"Our partnership with Aer Lingus is a perfect fit with our brand and culture, and we are thrilled to extend our route network to a vibrant new stream of customers from Ireland," said Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airways.
Mr. Barger added, "On JetBlue, Customers enjoy their vacation beginning with the JetBlue Experience -- free, live TV at every seat, complimentary name brand snacks and comfy leather seats with the most legroom of any other airline in coach. And did I mention our award-winning customer service?"
Commenting, Dermot Mannion, Aer Lingus CEO, said, "With a strong customer base, brand strength and position in the U.S. market, JetBlue is a natural partner for Aer Lingus. We are proud to be pioneering the model of linking low fare networks and offering Aer Lingus customers to easily connect across the U.S. through JetBlue's Terminal 6 at JFK. The partnership will also expose millions of U.S. passengers to the Aer Lingus website and brand and further consolidate aerlingus.com as the premier way to book flights to Ireland from North America."
Domestic service will be operated by JetBlue's fleet of Airbus A320 and EMBRAER E190 aircraft. Both aircraft feature comfy leather seats equipped with personal seatback TVs that offer JetBlue's signature in-flight entertainment: 36 channels of free, live DIRECTV programming. The airline's EMBRAER 190 aircraft also offer more than 100 channels of free XM Satellite Radio; its A320 fleet is currently being retrofitted to provide the same service. On flights longer than two hours, a selection of first-run movies and bonus features from FOX InFlight(tm) is also available.
JetBlue's new Irish customers will have convenient connections to more than 40 destinations via New York/JFK, including: Austin, TX; Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, NY; Burlington, VT; Denver, CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Las Vegas, NV; New Orleans, LA; San Diego, CA; and Seattle, WA.
Note to Editors
About Aer Lingus Group plc
Aer Lingus is an Irish low-cost, low-fares airline, providing both long-haul and short-haul passenger transportation services. Aer Lingus' low-cost, low-fares model is centred on maintaining low unit cost, offering one-way fares, maintaining effective fleet utilisation and developing the Aer Lingus brand. Consistent with this low-cost model, Aer Lingus' primary distribution channel is its website www.aerlingus.com.
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 introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 53 cities with 550 daily flights. New service to St. Maarten and Puerto Plata begins in January. 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.
The JetBlue logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=795
DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental United States; however, where applicable FOX InFlight(tm) is offered complimentary on these routes. FOX InFlight(tm) is a trademark of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. JetBlue's in-flight entertainment service is provided by LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue.
This press release contains statements of a forward-looking nature which represent our management's beliefs and assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and are based on information currently available to us. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements due to many factors, including, without limitation, our extremely competitive industry; increases in fuel prices, maintenance costs and interest rates; our ability to implement our growth strategy, including the ability to operate reliably the EMBRAER 190 aircraft; our significant fixed obligations; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel and maintain our culture as we grow; our reliance on high daily aircraft utilization; our dependence on the New York metropolitan market and the effect of increased congestion in this market; our reliance on automated systems and technology; our being subject to potential unionization; our reliance on a limited number of suppliers; changes in or additional government regulation; changes in our industry due to other airlines' financial condition; and external geopolitical events and conditions. Further information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to, the Company's 2006 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.
CONTACT: JetBlue Airways Corporation
Alison Eshelman, Manager Corporate Communications
Media Hotline (24/7): 718-709-3089
Gillian Culhane, Head of Press and Media Relations
(01) 353 1 8862350
00 353 86 1726647