Everyone is abuzz after a meeting that our CEO, Dave Barger, held with Governor Crist in Florida yesterday to discuss a possible move to Orlando. JetBlue’s headquarters are currently in NYC, the city in which the airline was founded. The location also happens to be in close proximity to JFK International Airport, where the largest base of our operations are and where we also just celebrated the first anniversary of our state-of-the-art terminal, T5.
The lease on our current HQ building is up in 2012, though, and the team has been working collaboratively to decide whether a move to Orlando, or a move to another location in NYC, makes most sense for our bottom line. And our bottom line has never just been about revenue.
Dave Barger offered that, “Certainly cost is a deciding factor.” He added: “This is an airline that has right now, 800-plus crewmembers in New York. As we look at relocation or separation efforts, there’s cost associated with that if people elected not to move. We’re an airline that focuses on culture — we do not furlough, we do not lay off. We take care of our people. And so there’s a significant cost.”
Florida Governor Charles Crist has offered financial incentives for us to move to Orlando, stating that,“This would be huge economic development in our state. There always is the chance to provide money as an inducement.”
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, representative for New York, issued a statement today about the possible move, saying, “I’ve spoken in detail with JetBlue and expressed that the State and City’s offer is very strong. JetBlue is New York’s hometown airline and — this is one time — we don’t want them to take off.”
“We’d love to have JetBlue move to Florida, ” said Governor Crist of Florida, “and fortunately, that’s under pretty serious consideration.”
This decision-making process has been rigorous and we expect to finalize a future home by the end of the first quarter. Of course, we will be sure to inform firstly those that will be most affected by the move and will then extend the announcement to the everyone.
In the interim, it’s the top dogs from New York and Florida battling it out for JetBlue’s heart (and HQ)!