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JetBlue Airways, The First 'Mega Start-Up' Unveils Launch Plans

JetBlue to introduce a fleet of new planes; live satellite TV at every seat

New York, NY, 07/14/1999 -- CEO David Neeleman unveiled the name stating: "We want to be New York's new low-fare, hometown airline. JetBlue will bring to the city a superior product at a very affordable price, on average, 65% less than current fares on some routes; call it a new shade of blue."

JetBlue, to be based at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, plans to commence operations in early 2000 and serve up to a dozen cities with 10 aircraft by the end of its first year of operations. Considered to be the nation's first "mega start-up" applicant, the company's fleet will comprise up to 82 new Airbus A-320 aircraft valued at more than $4 billion.

"It's a new kind of low-fare airline," Neeleman added. "JetBlue will offer wider seats, more legroom, and more overhead storage space than any other airline in its class and, with 24 channels of live in-flight television, you'll never have to miss your favorite show on the road. What's more, our aircraft are some of the world's quietest, most emission-friendly passenger jets."

JetBlue's new aircraft will seat 162 passengers in a single coach cabin. Innovations will include computerized "touch-screen" check-in and unique onboard services. Despite these state-of-the-art conveniences, JetBlue's fares will average 65% less than other airlines on identical routes.

The company has not yet announced its final route structure but is considering service to 44 cities: Atlanta; Boston; Buffalo; Burlington, VT; Canton/Akron; Charleston, SC; Charleston, WV; Charlotte; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbia, SC; Columbus, OH; Dallas/Fort Worth; Dayton; Denver; Flint; Ft. Lauderdale; Ft. Myers; Grand Rapids, MI; Greensboro, NC; Greenville/Spartanburg; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, FL; Louisville; Memphis; Milwaukee; Minneapolis/St Paul; Nashville; New Orleans; Norfolk; Orlando; Pittsburgh; Portland, ME; Raleigh/Durham; Richmond; Rochester, NY; Salt Lake City; Savannah; Syracuse; Tampa; Washington, DC; and West Palm Beach.

JetBlue has three applications pending with the federal government in Washington, DC. Two applications, one with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and one with the Federal Aviation Administration are for certification to become an air carrier. These are both currently under review. A third application, also under review at the DOT, is for an exemption from the High Density Rule. This exemption application has received the strong support of political and civic leaders from many of the cities JetBlue is interested in serving, and especially here in New York.

New York Governor George Pataki said: "(JetBlue's) service to and from New York's Kennedy airport promises to give New Yorkers the ability to travel throughout the Empire State and beyond at affordable fares on new quieter jetliners. Our administration has worked with New Air as they began operations, and we look forward to continuing to work with New Air to help them succeed in providing the low-cost and accessible air service that is long overdue for so many New Yorkers."

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer added: "I share with (JetBlue) a strong commitment to reducing airfares in Upstate New York. The high fares at Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse Airports have had a crippling effect on the local economy and the prospect of adding a new, low-cost air service will provide a boost for the region's economy."

U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks stated: "With its base of operations at JFK, my district will reap the economic benefits of 1,500 jobs while having the ability to travel for business or pleasure at low airfares and on brand new, environmentally friendly aircraft. It is for those reasons why I have been working hard on behalf of New Air to urge the Administration in Washington to grant their request to operate at Kennedy International Airport."

New York City Mayor Guiliani said: "For more than a year, the City of New York has worked with the New Air Corporation to help achieve their dream of becoming New York's hometown low-fare carrier. Today, thanks to the tireless determination of many people, that dream has become a reality. On behalf of the entire City, I want to wish (JetBlue) great success as they build a bold new airline for a new millennium."


JetBlue Corporate Communications