JetBlue has decided to stick with New York City. The carrier has announced that it will maintain its headquarters in the city, double down on hiring, and work with developers on its flagship terminal expansion at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Coming on the back of JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance and its roots in New York, its opportunities in the city embolden the carrier.
JetBlue headquarters sticking in New York City
In March, it was reported that JetBlue was looking at leaving its New York headquarters and moving down to Florida. The airline states it will keep its headquarters in Long Island City, where it has been based since 2012.
Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes had the following to say on its plans to stay in New York City:
“New York is in JetBlue’s DNA and inspires everything we do. Our comprehensive review found that keeping our headquarters in the city was the right thing for our crewmembers, our brand, and our business.”
The airline plans to negotiate and execute a lease over the next few months on its space in the Brewster Building. After that, it will redesign its office space to meet “rapidly evolving workplace trends.”
The airline bills itself as “New York’s Hometown Airline.” It is the only major US airline based in the area, though it is far from the only carrier with a hub there.
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Doubling down at JFK
Arguably, JetBlue’s most important airport is John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). This heavily congested airport is not easy to get into, and expansion can come at a high cost and a long timeline. Nevertheless, the airline is committing to the airport and moving forward with a new Terminal 6.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new plan with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to build a $3.9 billion Terminal 6 at JFK. This will connect to JetBlue’s existing home at Terminal 5.
JetBlue will be able to get new gates at Terminal 6 starting in 2025. In addition, given the expansion, it will also offer its partner airlines the ability to co-locate with JetBlue, leading to easier connections.
The new Terminal 6 will sit on the grounds of the former Terminal 6, which was demolished in 2011, and Terminal 7. British Airways, which has an extensive presence at Terminal 7, plans to relocate to Terminal 8. After this relocation happens, Terminal 7 will be torn down to support the construction of the new Terminal 6, which will also support international flights.
More jobs are coming to New York
At its New York City airports, JetBlue plans to add more than 1,800 jobs. A large reason behind this increase includes JetBlue’s recent route announcements and schedule expansions requiring more employees to support the operations and help avoid lengthy delays or cancellations due to operational disruptions.
Mr. Hayes further stated:
“JetBlue has laid out plans for incredible growth in JFK, LaGuardia and Newark, driven by our new alliance with American Airlines. \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.”
The industry has recently seen a crunch on the labor side of things. Airlines are seeing shortages on the airport operations side, and various vendors are also short-staffed. JetBlue is ramping up its hiring efforts as it tries to keep its operations afloat and remain competitive in this hotly contested environment.
The Northeast Alliance
JetBlue has announced incredible plans for growth. While some of that growth is organic from JetBlue over the past few years, such as the carrier’s new flights to London starting in just a few days, much of the other growth has been driven by the Northeast Alliance with American Airlines.
JetBlue has announced a significant expansion on the domestic and short- and medium-haul international side in the last few months. This includes its intentions to serve San Pedro Sula and Vancouver and growth to Milwaukee, Kansas City, and San Antonio, among other markets.
The Northeast Alliance has also helped JetBlue significantly in LaGuardia. The airline is expanding beyond its current space at the historic Marine Air Terminal to include a partial move into Terminal B later this year, with plans to move completely in 2022. In Newark, JetBlue will also relocate to the new Terminal A in 2022.
Are you glad to see JetBlue staying in New York City? Let us know in the comments!