April 4, 2014

Aviation Education Takes Flight with a little Sun n’ Fun

You may have already guessed, but a lot of our crewmembers have been passionate aviation enthusiasts all their lives. That passion is something we love to encourage in the next generation of our industry. We recently launched the JetBlue Foundation to encourage STEM and aviation education, and on April 2, we provided a special charter flight experience to 75 high school and college aviation students for a trip to the Sun-N-Fun Show and Expo in Lakeland, Florida.   Top students from several aviation schools with dream of becoming pilots, technicians, air traffic controllers, and future aviation leaders were invited  to this expo to further encourage their interests and reward their hard work as they pursue careers in aviation.  Students from 10 schools in New York and Florida participated in the event, including three of the schools that were recipients of the first round of grants from the JetBlue Foundation.

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At Sun & Fun, event attendees were able to board JetBlue’s aircraft to tour the flight deck, talk to our crew, get to know more about JetBlue, and how to pursue a career in aviation. Waiting for attendees on board, were individuals from all levels of our Gateway Pilot training program, JetBlue crewmembers as well as our CEO Dave Barger and our Chief People Officer and JetBlue Foundation President, Joanna Geraghty.

As an added bonus for attendees, parked right in the pavilion was a plane built by students from Circle Christian SchoolThe plane is not just a source of pride for the students in the school’s Eagle’s Nest Orlando Project, but also 15 JetBlue pilots, JetBlue University instructors, and technicians who helped these students build the plane as part of a mentorship program.

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JetBlue is on a mission to inspire humanity, and partnering with Sun-N-Fun, and their mission to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events that inspire and educate people of all ages, is a perfect fit. We can’t wait to see what this energized next generation of aviation professionals will add to this industry we hold so dear.

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October 24, 2011

JetBlue At the Education Nation 2011 Summit

Our CEO Dave Barger recently participated in the Education Nation panel moderated by Tom Browkaw. Dave, along with other top business executives, civic leaders and educators addressed the current state of the 21st century workforce and the importance of educating America’s students to compete in a global economy. Dave who also Chairs the educational organization, PENCIL, spoke about the private sector’s involvement in education, its role in creating awareness, and partnering business leaders with schools to make a difference.

Watch the full discussion on MSNBC by clicking on the below video.

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July 5, 2010

Be True: Dr. Jay is true to wilderness medicine education

As you may know, we launched our Be True campaign last week, which tells the story of six outstanding TrueBlue members and what they hold to be true. Meet one of the six below, Dr. Jay.

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Dr. Jay Lemery doesn’t have to wear a white coat to do the most good. From mountain rescues to hurricanes to earthquakes, he’s taught his students to always be leaders in the field of wilderness medicine. Where modern medicine has an infinite toolkit, wilderness medicine is the opposite. It relies on ingenuity of a doctor with very limited resources — sometimes nothing more than a Swiss Army knife.

Jay loves to hear from his former students, many who are making a difference all over the world. They use the knowledge he shared with them to help people in disaster situations or in undeveloped countries. His wilderness medicine education program has had a ripple effect across continents and cultures.

We admire people who do more with their passion, people who share their knowledge, people who are true. It’s this commitment to people that helped inspire TrueBlue, our redesigned rewards program.

Watch the video and learn more about Be True

Join the discussion on Facebook

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December 16, 2014

Sister Sister! : A Pair of Siblings share the Cockpit

Women have historically been underrepresented in the field of aviation. Currently only  4% of commercial pilots are women. While we’re proud that our own representative number of female pilots is higher at 5+%, we know there’s a lot of room to increase the representation of women in the cockpit. JetBlue regularly sponsors the Women in Aviation organization and is well represented at their events. Recognizing the importance of getting children involved in aviation early on, we recently formed the JetBlue Foundation to help bridge this gap. We also know how much children seeing and learning from representative pilots, so with that in mind, we’d like to present you with just one notable flight pairing we saw on the line recently.

JetBlue pilots Pia and Anna-Maria Kymalainen grew up in an aviation family in Finland. With their father in aeronautical engineering and an older brother following in their father’s footsteps, the aspiration of flight was always close to home. Both sisters began their own careers flying corporate jets before finding their place here at JetBlue – Pia as an A320 Captain and Anna-Maria as First Officer.

It was a long time goal for both sisters to fly together and that dream recently came true. The women recently operated flight 1480 from FLL to DCA making them the first ever sister-sister flight crew at JetBlue!

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Pia began her aviation career flying freight and corporate jets before joining JetBlue nine years ago. While, Anna-Maria followed her big sister’s lead and also began flying corporate jets seven years ago until finding her home at JetBlue three years ago.

We love to see women like Pia and Anna-Maria showing young women that there are opportunities for them across all aspects of the aviation industry, and are proud of the work the JetBlue Foundation does in working to increase the number of women in the pilot ranks. In 2013, we created the JetBlue Foundation as a way to encourage and advance careers in aviation, specifically among underserved communities including women. The JetBlue Foundation provides learning opportunities for underserved groups by working hand-in-hand with local and national education institutions that support and foster aviation-related programs. On December 17, the JetBlue Foundation will host its second annual grant presentations for programs focused on encouraging aviation careers among women, people of color, veterans and other underserved groups. For more information on the JetBlue Foundation, visit www.jetblue.com/InspiringHumanity.

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December 8, 2014

DC Travel tips and tricks without a Presidential budget

 

I have taken the challenge of traveling to all 87 cities JetBlue flies to in 90 days with our 10th J.D. Power Award.  I just finished the first week of this adventure.  It was great! This week we visited airports in Washington DC, Virginia, Baltimore (DCA, IAD, RIC, BWI), Massachusetts and Rhode Island (BOS, PVD,ORH).  We traveled from our Nation’s Capital to Worcester, MA.  We learned from Crewmembers how to get around Washington, DC without a presidential budget and even how to properly pronounce Worcester. Watch the video here.

One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people.  I met a wonderful group of Crewmembers at each city, and asked for some insight on their BlueCities.  Who would know better than them?  Here are the great tips and tricks they suggested when traveling to DC.

If you are traveling to the Dulles Airport, IAD and want to get to DC on a budget, the 5A Bus operates during Metro’s service hours to/from L’Enfant Plaza Metro station for only $7.  This would save you approximately $50 in cab fare you can use to have a nice dinner in the city.    A weekend trip to Washington DC is a wonderful, family friendly, and educational getaway.  Not only because all Smithsonian museums are free of charge but also for the user friendly public transportation.  When traveling to Washington Reagan, DCA the Metro is walking distance from the terminal. No need for a taxi.  All you have to do literally is cross the street.  This is a very convenient and budget-friendly choice.  For lodging options, staying in Northern Virginia (NoVa) and taking the Metro to DC is a great way to save money.  Find a hotel within walking distance to a Metro station or with shuttle service to/from the Metro (King Street, Braddock, Eisenhower, etc.).  Visiting Washington DC is the perfect combination of education and entertainment (or as I like to call it Edutainment). Next weekend trick your kids into learning with a budget-friendly trip to DC.

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 Thanks to all the JetBlue Crewmembers who were incredibly hospitable, and provided us great travel insight.  For more inside scoop on the cities we have visited keep following us
Next week we will be traveling to the following airports:

HPN Westchester County, NY

SWF Steward, NY

BDL Bradley, CT

EWR Newark, NJ

LGA LaGuardia, NY

PHL Philadelphia, PA

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December 4, 2014

It Ain’t Rocket Science

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Since the beginning, we have focused on inspiring humanity beyond air travel, not only for our customers and crewmembers but the various communities we serve. Not only is education a core pillar for JetBlue, it is weaved into everything we do. In fact, we actively seek ways to support education specifically science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. With this in mind, in 2013 we created the JetBlue Foundation as a way to encourage and advance careers in aviation, specifically among underserved communities.

The JetBlue Foundation provides learning opportunities for underserved groups by working hand-in-hand with local and national education institutions that support and foster aviation-related programs.  The JetBlue Foundation was recently featured on the STEM-focused show, “It Ain’t Rocket Science,” Time Warner Cable’s award-winning monthly TV digest that introduces parents and kids alike to some of the coolest opportunities, events and careers in STEM. Hosted by NY1 News technology reporter Adam Balkin, this month’s episode of “It Ain’t Rocket Science” features a great video piece about the Aviation Career Education Academy a program produced by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and supported by the JetBlue Foundation, which teaches students the science of navigating the friendly skies.

Watch the “It Ain’t Rocket Science” video about the JetBlue Foundation or here on TWC’s Connect a Million Minds website.

JetBlue supports STEM education though a variety of initiatives. Our goal is to create a unique education pathway from relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to its University Gateway Program which leads to positions as Pilot Trainees with JetBlue. Last year, the JetBlue Foundation provided grants to Aviation High School (Long Island City, NY)CUNY Aviation Institute at York College (Jamaica, NY) and SUN ‘n FUN (Lakeland, FL).  New grants will be given out later this month.

For more information about our aviation-related programs, please visit www.jetblue.com/csr.

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November 3, 2014

Fly It Forward

If you were given one flight to spread good…
Where would you go?
What would you do?

It’s a simple question, with some potentially amazing answers. This is why we decided to launch Fly It Forward, a social movement we see as a public manifestation of our mission to inspire humanity.

Our Senior Vice President of Commercial, Marty St George said it best, “It’s easy to get caught up in the mechanics of travel and overlook the reasons why people travel. Everyone travels for their own reasons. It’s those stories, those connections with individuals that inspire us all. At JetBlue, we have the means to facilitate those human connections. With Fly It Forward, we’re pulling the humanity and goodness that already exists to the forefront by making the sharing of these stories possible. It’s easy to say our mission is to inspire humanity, but it’s quite a feat to make that mission known and felt.”

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Fly It Forward started with crewmembers nominating individuals within their communities they thought they were worthy of a flight. Tameka from Chicago was first. The director of I Grow Chicago, an organization providing a safe haven to at-risk members in her community, Tameka was invited to attend The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in New York City. We were honored to help bring Tameka to our hometown, but that was only the beginning of the trip for this Fly It Forward ticket.

 

 

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Lisa, a ground operations crewmember at JFK had heard the story of another local New Yorker, working to regain her independence after a tragic accident, so our Fly It Forward ticket brought to New York by Tameka was handed off to Teena, who’s dream of a trip to Seattle was made real after a year of hard rehabilitation.

 

 

 

In Seattle, Teena handed the Fly It Forward ticket on to Peter, an artist looking to make his mark back on the streets of New York. If you find yourself smiling up at a colorful mural in Brooklyn one day, you can thank artist Ten Hundred.

 

Louis from Stratford, CT can also thank Peter for handing off the Fly It Forward ticket to him back in New York. Louis runs the non-profit Haiti Lumiere de Demain, providing educational opportunities for children in his home country of Haiti. Watch this inspiring video about Louis’s efforts to help the children in La Gonave gain the tools needed to improve their own world.

In Haiti, Louis handed the Fly It Forward ticket onto Astrel Clovis, an inspirational man who’d put his dream of returning to run in the New York City Marathon on hold in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. This year though, Astrel was invited to run his second New York City Marathon by Sean Penn and his J/P HRO team. Seeing Astrel and the J/P HRO team run past our headquarters in Long Island City was an exciting moment that showcases the human spirit to preserver.

 

Now that Astrel is in New York though, the Fly It Forward ticket is ready for it’s next recipient to carry it onward. Where will it go next? Who will carry it? These are questions we want you to help us answer.

Our Fly It Forward travelers will get to choose from a list of candidates in the destination they’re flying to. These candidates are looking to fulfill a dream, join a humanitarian effort or making a meaningful impact on the world.

  • Do you have your own story to tell? Log on to Twitter or visit the Fly it Forward site and tweet us where you want to fly, and why, in 140 characters or less using #FlyItForward.
  • Know someone with a story?  Log on to Twitter or visit the Fly it Forward site and tweet us where they want to fly, and why, in 140 characters or less using #FlyItForward.

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October 2, 2014

JetBlue Crewmembers Recycle 37,000 lbs. Of Clothing

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If you’ve flown JetBlue in the last few months, you’ve certainly noticed those sharp new uniforms they’re now sporting. We’re incredibly proud of the first big refresh to our uniforms since we were founded in 2000, but as with any big wardrobe update, we were left wondering what to do with all those retired styles that still had some use in them.

While some of you may be able to take a trip to the local vintage shop or Goodwill, with uniforms coming in from more than 10,000 crewmembers, a trip to the local Salvation Army wasn’t really an option for us, so we started looking for creative ways to clear out the closet while keeping with our values. After a lot of research, and learning from some truly inspiring groups, we finally found a solution.

JetBlue Airways announced today a recycling donation of more than 18.5 tons of used clothing, uniforms and fabric to several non-profit partners including Planet Aid, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that collects and recycles worn clothing and shoes to support health, agricultural, educational, and environmental programs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. 18.5 tons, or about 98,666 t-shirts is a lot to transport, so JetBlue partnered with Loomstate to bring it all together. Loomstate is part of the new wave of fashion houses that see beauty in creating high-end pieces from recycled materials. With their expertise in recycling fabric, JetBlue was able to find a purposeful second life for its old uniforms.

As part of JetBlue’s uniform recycling program, donated clothing items can now be worn again. Donated items were sent to eight donation centers and regulated uniform, like pilot and flight attendant uniforms, were sent to special facilities in Arizona or Massachusetts to be turned into more fabric. – sorry folks, you’re not going to find easy pilot outfits for Halloween. Those uniforms can’t just be resold so people can pretend to be a JetBlue pilot!  Of the 37,000 pounds of collected textile, approximately 11,538 pounds were donated as clothing and 25,462 pounds were shredded and donated as fabric, resulting in zero pounds going to landfill.

Although flight attendants and pilots first come to mind when thinking about uniforms, there is a cadre of other uniformed crewmembers within an airline. JetBlue crewmembers, from various stations voluntarily brought in their old uniform pieces and the airline organized local pickups and deliveries to sorting centers. At these centers, pilot shirts were sent for shredding and recycling. Other pieces were packaged with donations of clothing and shoes from around the country and sent to communities in need in throughout the US, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Most of the clothing collected by Planet Aid will be given a second life. These items are bundled in Planet Aid warehouses and shipped to other countries where the demand for used clothing is high.

Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue’s head of sustainability was key to this initiative, “At JetBlue, we are conscious of the greenhouse gas emissions from our planes and the impact we create from our buildings and crewmembers. We are always thinking about saving jet fuel to reduce emissions. Yet, we should also be thinking about other ways to decrease our impact. With the introduction of our new uniforms, we sought out creative yet useful ways to save the old uniforms and fabric from landfills,”

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JetBlue encourages customers to also explore ways to donate used clothing and fabric. Visit our partners for more details at PlanetAid.org, SalvationArmyUSA.org or Goodwill.org.

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July 31, 2014

Students “ACE” their introduction to aviation

Earlier this month, the JetBlue Foundation partnered with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) for their  annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy initiative at JetBlue’s Hangar and T5 at JFK, as well as, JetBlue University in Orlando. Students from local aviation schools and programs in New York and Oakridge High in Orlando participated. ACE Academy and the JetBlue Foundation have a joint goal – to increase awareness of aviation-related careers among students from underserved areas. According to current statistics, less than five percent of pilots in the commercial aviation industry are women or people of color.

For the third year in a row, ACE Academy students in Orlando visited JetBlue University to learn about the various jobs available behind-the-scenes of an airline. Students also got to experience and fly in the airline’s E-190 simulators. This year also marked the first-ever ACE Academy in New York City. JetBlue Captain Jovan O’Bryant coordinated exclusive opportunities for budding aviators in the Big Apple including a special behind-the-scenes tour of JetBlue’s terminal and maintenance hangar at JFK and a first-hand look at the many roles that keep an airline running.

The JetBlue Foundation also supported initiatives in Chicago and St. Croix. The Chicago program was coordinated by JetBlue Captain Robert Holmes, a product of an ACE Academy. Twenty years ago, Captain Holmes was an ACE Academy student, a step he says encouraged his ambitions to become a pilot. Capt. Holmes credits the ACE Academy with giving him the opportunity to not only tour an aircraft but actually giving him the first chance to fly one.

The ACE Academy includes a curriculum complete with presentations by aviation pioneers such as the Tuskegee Airmen and aviation professionals from a wide range of industry careers. Students also take part in special field trips and conduct a “Discovery Flight,” where they receive hands-on flight training with a certified FAA Flight Instructor.

For more information on OBAP and the ACE Academy initiative, visit the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.

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April 30, 2014

Our sixth annual Responsibility Report

Last week we released our sixth annual Responsibility Report, highlighting the progress we’ve made in 2013 in the environmental and social responsibility arenas. From initiatives like onboard recycling, to investing in our crewmembers and the communities in which we live in.

Read highlights of the report below or read the complete report here.

Climate Change and Decreasing Environmental Impact

  • Climate change: JetBlue is communicating transparently about climate change. We work every day to reduce our environmental impact and are fully committed to meeting the International Air Transport Association (IATA) targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. These include joining an industry pledge to cut carbon emissions 50 percent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. (Want to learn more? Our CEO Dave Barger was recently speaking about it.)
  • Partnering to protect oceans: No one benefits when oceans and beaches are polluted. JetBlue teamed up with The Ocean Foundation to explore a novel approach to ocean health in the Caribbean. Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean make up one-third of our route network, and the health and appearance of these destinations have a direct impact on our revenue. With The Ocean Foundation’s help, JetBlue is showing the economic value of clean beaches by directly tying the importance of nature to the airline’s main economic measure – revenue per available seat mile (RASM). (Want to help? Take our survey!)
  • Composting: In most terminals valuable food scraps are sent to landfills, where their nutritional value is lost and they emit GHGs during decomposition. JetBlue decided to do something different. At JFK’s T5, we began a partnership to compost food waste.  Through our composting partnership, we send nearly 300 pounds of material each day (55 tons annually) to a composting facility where it is turned into fertilizer and nutrient-rich soil for farms.

Governance and Transparency

  • Conflict materials: JetBlue purchases minerals to make the TVs on the aircraft. These TVs would not work without critical minerals to transmit signals and images. These minerals can only be sourced through mining in specific locations and not all mining and sourcing is created equal. Some minerals including, but not limited to, tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold, come from mines that engage in horrific and widespread human atrocities. We do not intend to fund these mines through its supply-chain and have started a deep audit of its supply-chain connected to their TVs and its LiveTV subsidiary that manufactures them.

Investing in its People

  • Marriage equality: JetBlue treats all crewmembers equally. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) made this difficult. For some crewmembers, this meant their partners could not be recognized as “spouses” by federal law, and couldn’t receive federal marriage benefits. Last year, JetBlue signed an amicus brief together with 278 employers and organizations, in the case of United States vs Windsor, who was challenging the Act’s constitutionality.

Investing in the Community

  • Volunteerism: JetBlue’s Community Connection program ties corporate giving with crewmembers’ passions. Through this program, crewmembers log the hours they volunteer with nonprofits and for every 25 hours, JetBlue donates a travel certificate for the charity of their choice. In total, 1,040 crewmembers volunteered 69,635 hours of their own time in 2013.
  • STEM/Aviation Education: JetBlue took its support for STEM education to the next level in 2013. By creating the JetBlue Foundation, the airline will put aviation on the map as a top career choice for students. The Foundation is company-sponsored, but independent from JetBlue. In 2013, the Foundation awarded $25,000 grants to three aviation-focused high school and college programs.

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