Since 1999, JetBlue has called Queens, NY home. The carrier’s slogan displayed pride in its NY roots, “JetBlue, New York’s Hometown Airline”. JetBlue enriches Queens in so many ways through philanthropic endeavors, being an amazing employer, a great partner in sustainability and education and so much more. All of their eggs were never in one basket. JetBlue has major operations and training centers in Florida and Utah. A little digging in history shows that JetBlue turned down incentives from the City of Orlando back in 2010 and begin to prepare to move from the original location in Kew Gardens to the current location in Long Island City, noting their commitment to New York.
So, what is going on now? There is talk of JetBlue moving their headquarters out of Queens NY to Florida.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. sent a letter to JetBlue President and CEO Robin Hayes, urging the company to commit keeping its corporate headquarters in Long Island City. BP Richards writes, “When JetBlue initially chose Kew Gardens and later Long Island City as the site of its corporate headquarters, it marked the beginning of what has become a deep and mutually-beneficial partnership between your airline and the borough of Queens. Let’s continue that partnership.” BP Richards asked to meet with the CEO to hopefully keep JetBlue local.
Tom Grech, the Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, commented, “Based on our diversity, our on-ground transportation system, and our educational footprint, there’s no reason for any business to leave Queens County, and I look forward to engaging JetBlue management to see what they may need to remain in Long Island City.”
The airline said in a statement its current lease expires in July 2023 and it is reviewing its options “and considering how our space requirements may evolve in a hybrid work environment post-pandemic.”
JetBlue said it is exploring a number of options, including staying in its current headquarters, moving elsewhere in New York City, or shifting some New York-based jobs to existing JetBlue facilities in Florida.
A spokesperson for the airline said a decision is expected later this year. She said more than 1,300 employees work at the headquarters in Long Island City.
The airline said that no matter what it decides about the headquarters, it still plans to expand at all three New York City-area major airports.
The pride of Queens is companies that add to the diversity and success of not only the company but of all the supporting businesses and residents that contribute to the overall success of those companies. It would be a tremendous loss to Queens to say the least to lose such a powerhouse as JetBlue.