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JetBlue Plants Its Flag in New York City with New Headquarters Location
- New York Loves New York's Hometown Airline - - JetBlue support center to move to Long Island City, Queens -
NEW YORK, March 22, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York's hometown airline, announces today the decision to keep its headquarters in New York City, and to combine the current Forest Hills, NY and Darien, CT corporate offices, with nearly 1,000 crewmembers and business partners in total, into one main support center to be located in Long Island City, Queens. In addition, recognizing JetBlue as New York's Hometown Airline, JetBlue and the State will begin joint branding of the world-recognized I Love NY logo, an unprecedented partnership with the State's iconic brand.

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"New York and JetBlue are made for each other," said Dave Barger, JetBlue Chief Executive Officer. "After an exhaustive study to determine the best location for our corporate offices, we have decided that remaining in our hometown of New York makes the most sense for our company. The city is an important part of our heritage and culture, our brand and our customer connection, as well as our operation, with our base at JFK's Terminal 5. As we enter our second decade, we are proud to be New York's Hometown Airline, and look forward to welcoming our customers locally and across our network with our award-winning service and the high-value JetBlue Experience."

"JetBlue engaged cities around the country in a selection process to determine where to build a central corporate office and grow jobs over the long term. New York City prevailed, and both our city and the airline are better off for it," said Mayor Bloomberg. "There was a time when New York might have taken such an exercise lightly, relying on the city's reputation to win out. But cities across the country and around the world are engaged in an increasingly competitive environment to attract growing companies, and - while we can't always compete on cost - we've worked extremely hard to strengthen and highlight New York City's competitive advantages. The 200 jobs the company will move to and add in New York City and the new Long Island City headquarters it will build will be significant contributions to the local and citywide economies. We wish the company much success in the years ahead, and look forward to our continued partnership."

"The relationship between New York State and JetBlue is exactly the kind of innovative economic partnership that we have fought to deliver, especially now, at a time when our State needs it most," said Governor Paterson. "JetBlue's plans to invest millions directly into New York's economy will create more jobs and provide more opportunities for all New Yorkers. As our State and City work to create strategic economic opportunities, we will continue to help companies like JetBlue develop and grow right here - in the great State of New York."

"JetBlue is New York's hometown airline and they made the right call in choosing to stay right here where they belong - in the Big Apple," said Senator Charles Schumer. "From Buffalo to Rochester to Syracuse to Stewart Airport I have enjoyed watching JetBlue develop into a terrific organization that is a vital part of the Empire State's economic vibrancy. New York State and New York City via ESDC and EDC have crafted a creative package that makes sense for JetBlue, for its employees and for the people of New York. I look forward to many more years of JetBlue's first-class service and affordable travel options and to this dynamic company staying and growing here in New York."

"I'm very pleased that JetBlue is cleared for landing. The airline's decision to keep their world headquarters here in New York City is welcome news," said Senator Gillibrand. "JetBlue has grown into the seventh largest airline in no small part due to the hard work of the nearly 1,000 local employees at its world headquarters that are among the more than 5,000 crewmembers that also work at airports and maintenance facilities across New York State. I was proud to work with officials at all levels to present JetBlue with a very strong offer. I look forward to working with them in the years to come as they remain one of New York City's premier corporations."

"As the only airline whose corporate headquarters is located in New York City I am extremely pleased that JetBlue's headquarters will remain in our great city," said Congressman Meeks. "This decision by JetBlue Airways has allowed nearly 1,000 jobs to remain in New York City and its continuing commitment to growing at JFK airport shows that they are a true partner to the people of the city of New York. I look forward to their continued growth at JFK and throughout the city in creating jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers."

"We are delighted that JetBlue, a company that started in Queens and employs many Queens residents, is staying right here in America's most diverse county," said Borough President Marshall. "This decision saves hundreds of jobs during a difficult economic period and represents JetBlue's commitment to Queens and the City of New York. We couldn't be happier. I also thank Mayor Bloomberg and the City's Economic Development Corporation and all the elected officials and parties who worked together to bring about this wonderful announcement today."

"New York City's unrivaled infrastructure, economic potential, and access to top-tier talent make it an ideal location for companies that what to expand their competitive edge," said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. "JetBlue's decision to relocate to Long Island City and grow there not only solidifies the company's incredible entrepreneurial vision, but also underscores the City's position as the business and innovation capital of the word."

"Today's announcement that JetBlue will remain and expand its headquarters in New York City illustrates what we know to be true--that New York State is the number one location to grow a business," said Empire State Development Chairman and CEO designate Dennis M. Mullen. "Not only does this project create jobs and investment in New York, it affords us the opportunity to align the iconic I Love New York brand with JetBlue. This renewed partnership will no doubt bolster the state's tourism economy and demonstrate that New York State is open for business, as well as for leisure travel."

"This is a huge win for our passengers and for the Port Authority's entire regional airport system. It is also a real credit to JetBlue and its CEO Dave Barger for continuing to believe in New York, as well as Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and all of the leaders who played a key role in keeping JetBlue here at home," said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Ward. "We are also pleased to learn that JetBlue's new flagship terminal at JFK, which the Port Authority financed, was a critical factor in JetBlue's decision. We look forward to our ongoing partnership."

After an extensive multi-year review of several cities around the country, JetBlue narrowed its focus on New York City and Orlando. While both locations have tremendous synergies with JetBlue, New York, among other reasons, means JetBlue can now truly lay claim as New York's Hometown Airline.

JetBlue's Darien, CT support center will be combined with the current New York office sometime in 2011. Seventy jobs will be relocated to New York. The carrier's Darien office provides transactional financial support for the value airline since 2000 and has been a key ingredient of the airline's success in its first decade.

Orlando, which remains a significant city for JetBlue's network, is the airline's "home away from home" for more than 1,000 crewmembers and boasts JetBlue University, a world-class training facility, and support center. The airline continues to grow operations at Orlando International Airport offering 23 nonstop destinations, including six international cities.

New Address: 27-01 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, New York

Subject to execution of a lease with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (MetLife), JetBlue expects to occupy approximately 200,000 square feet by mid-2012 in the historic Brewster Building in Long Island City Queens. The Brewster Building, owned by Brause Realty, a New York City-based real estate company, is just six miles down the road from JetBlue's current support center location in Forest Hills, and is situated at the foot of one of the main gateways to Manhattan -- the Queensborough Bridge.

The Brewster Building has a relevant aviation history. It 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. In addition, the building is recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as having achieved Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) Silver certification, which designates operation of high performance buildings that are environmentally responsible. JetBlue will be subleasing the space from MetLife, who will continue to maintain a significant presence at the location with approximately 800 associates.

"We are pleased that JetBlue, has made their decision to join us and establish their headquarters at our class A Long Island City facility," said John M. Vazquez, Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer, Vendor Sourcing and Corporate Services for MetLife. "Our mutual commitment to Long Island City is evidence that the area continues to grow and prosper with significant residential and business development. We are confident that JetBlue crewmembers will feel right at home in our headquarters quality building and will enjoy the full array of amenities available. We value this partnership with JetBlue and appreciate having such a well regarded and customer focused organization complement MetLife."

David Brause, President of Brause Realty Inc. and Chairman of the Long Island City Business Improvement District (BID), said, "We are very pleased that JetBlue Airways has chosen to lease our family's building in Long Island City for its new headquarters location. In partnership with our tenant, MetLife, Brause Realty looks forward to many years together with JetBlue as we accommodate this vibrant company's present space needs and their growth into the future."

"We look forward to creating an exciting new home that is welcoming to our crewmembers, customers and business partners," Mr. Barger said. "In making an announcement today, it was important to for us to announce not just our hometown, but also the location. We are very pleased with our new space and the Brewster Building, with its rich history in transportation. It offers many opportunities to design a space that is flexible and adaptable to suit our needs, making it a clear winner for JetBlue. We look forward to our new home and a strong partnership with MetLife and Brause Realty."

JetBlue aims to be the Americas' Favorite Airline by delivering superior customer service, the award-winning JetBlue Experience and the best domestic coach product in the skies. The airline inaugurated service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with two daily nonstop flights on Feb. 11, 2000. JetBlue offers the most nonstop departures from JFK and the most domestic departures from the New York metro area of any major domestic carrier. JetBlue is also the single largest airline operating nonstop between New York and Florida (a) and the 7th largest passenger carrier in the United States (b), serving 60 destinations in 20 states, Puerto Rico and 11 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

JetBlue's home base of operations is Terminal 5 at New York's JFK, a state-of-the art terminal that opened in October of 2008. T5 focuses on efficiency and customer comfort. The 635,000-square-foot terminal boasts 26 gates distributed throughout three concourses and includes a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession Marketplace. T5 is designed to accommodate up to 20 million annual customers with up to 250 daily departures.

About JetBlue Airways

New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. In 2009, the carrier ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low-Cost Carriers in North America" by J.D. Power and Associates, a customer satisfaction recognition received for the fifth year in a row. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. 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 60 cities with 600 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530 or visit www.jetblue.com.

(a) Based on both number of departures and service capacity as measured by Available Seat Miles (ASMs)

(b) Based on service capacity as measured by Available Seat Miles (ASMs)

SOURCE JetBlue Airways