NEW YORK, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York's Official Hometown Airline, today opened its new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Senator Charles E. Schumer and other top government leaders joined JetBlue's President and CEO Dave Barger in cutting the ribbon on the airline's innovative new home, the latest addition to the vibrant Long Island City community.
The decision to keep its headquarters in New York City was announced in 2010, setting JetBlue on a journey to combine into one main corporate support center its former Forest Hills, Queens office where more than 900 crewmembers and business partners worked, with its Darien, Conn. office where approximately 70 crewmembers worked. JetBlue's crewmembers from Darien, who provide transactional financial support for the airline, now work alongside colleagues in Long Island City, bringing 70 jobs to the Empire State.
"Since our start up in New York in 1998 and our first flight from JFK in 2000, JetBlue's home, heart and soul have always remained in New York," said Mr. Barger. "Now in our second decade, we are growing jobs with this new office, serving seven Empire State destinations with more daily seats between New York City and upstate than any other airline, and growing the regional economy with competitive fares. JetBlue is proud to stay here in New York, grow here in New York and continue being New York's hometown airline."
"JetBlue has played a huge role in making New York City the nation's number one travel destination," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "The many reasons why people come to New York as tourists on JetBlue planes also are good reasons why JetBlue is expanding its corporate headquarters here. We couldn't be prouder that JetBlue has cast a major vote of confidence in Long Island City as a great place to do business."
"This is just another example of why Jet Blue is truly New York's hometown airline," said Senator Schumer. "By opening their new headquarters building right here in Long Island City, JetBlue is once again demonstrating their commitment to New York, and I wish them all the best in their new home."
"JetBlue's continued investment in our city means more jobs for New Yorkers," said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. "It's truly New York's hometown airline, and I look forward to JetBlue and New York City continuing to ascend to a brighter future together."
"JetBlue is an integral component of our borough's economic engine. Approximately 1,000 employees will work in this building, located in a hub of business activity and convenient to mass transit. I believe that JetBlue will continue to be a good neighbor as it was in Forest Hills," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. "Today's opening, coupled with the impressive Terminal 5 at JFK and a record of having the fewest number of passengers bumped from flights, makes us happy to say, 'Welcome aboard to Long Island City.' I thank Mayor Bloomberg and his administration and all our partners in government and the private sector for making today possible."
Senator Michael Gianaris said, "JetBlue's move to Long Island City is a thrilling addition to a neighborhood that continues to emerge as a hub for jobs, revenue and economic development. Today's announcement is excellent news for job creation in western Queens, which continues to see more large corporations, small businesses and economic development initiatives succeed here. I welcome JetBlue to the neighborhood and look forward to working with them to make our neighborhood that much better."
"On behalf the residents of Western Queens, I am thrilled to welcome JetBlue to Long Island City," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. "Relocating to Long Island City has helped keep jobs in Queens and contribute to the growth, economic development and revitalization of Long Island City."
"The arrival of JetBlue in Long Island City represents a milestone in the rebirth of Queens Plaza," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. "With over 1,000 JetBlue crewmembers now calling Long Island City home, the gateway to Queens will be more vibrant, and full of local economic activity. Welcome aboard JetBlue!"
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "The expansion of JetBlue shows that by forging innovative partnerships and improving New York's business climate, even the sky isn't the limit for our ability to create jobs and economic growth. By aligning JetBlue with the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK brand, this project brings together the best that New York has to offer, leveraging our world-renowned tourism economy with a unique investment opportunity to demonstrate that New York is open for business and travel."
"JetBlue's decision not only to keep its headquarters in New York City, but to grow here as well serves as a testament to the continuing appeal of all that is taking place in the City generally and in Queens in particular. Going forward, we look forward to working with this great homegrown business as it continues to remake the aviation industry," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky.
Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said, "The Port Authority's association with JetBlue can be traced all the way back to the airline's very first flight from JFK to Fort Lauderdale in 2000. Today, JetBlue serves nearly 14 million combined annual passengers at all four of our commercial airports. We're proud of this partnership that has delivered great service and thousands of jobs to the region, and applaud JetBlue as it moves into its new New York home."
After an exhaustive multi-state study to determine the best location for its corporate offices, JetBlue decided that remaining in its hometown of New York made the most sense. The city is an important part of its heritage and culture, its brand and its customer connection, as well as its operation, with JetBlue's base at JFK's Terminal 5 and an expanding operation at LaGuardia Airport.
The decision has been celebrated by the unprecedented joint branding of Milton Glaser's world-recognized I LOVE NEW YORK logo, solidifying JetBlue's status as the official hometown airline of New York.
New Address: 27-01 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, New York
"Long Island City will provide a unique backdrop for JetBlue's future. It's a neighborhood in transition from an industrial past to a unique urban future embracing art, business and residential development," said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue's executive vice president, chief people officer. "Long Island City has emerged on the New York City scene as a newcomer full of possibility, just like JetBlue introduced change to the airline industry at the turn of the century. We're a good match."
JetBlue now occupies approximately 200,000 square feet in the historic Brewster Building in Long Island City. The Brewster Building is owned by Brause Realty, a New York City-based real estate company. JetBlue is subleasing the space from MetLife, who will continue to maintain a presence at the location.
The Brewster Building has a relevant aviation history. It was built in 1911 and is where the Brewster Aeronautical Company manufactured the Brewster F2A (a.k.a. The Brewster Buffalo), the first monoplane fighter airplane used by the U.S. Navy in World War II.
Transparent Work Space with JetBlue Brand Cues
Working with design firm HLW International, JetBlue took great care in designing a welcoming environment for its leased portion of the building. JetBlue's new home was designed to showcase its brand while also offering a connection to the airline's operation. Elements of JetBlue's award-winning Terminal 5 and the historic Saarinen Terminal at JFK were incorporated into the new space through the use of expressive curves that suggest flight, bright communal spaces, large scale branded walls and bold pops of color.
Crewmembers and visitors are welcomed into JetBlue's space by passing through a vibrant blue backlit LED portal leading into a sweeping white curved ceiling reminiscent of the aerodynamic curve of an aircraft and those seen in the original Saarinen Terminal. The reception area opens up to another sweeping curve that frames the space, with polished white floors contrasting against bold graphics and vivid furniture in the JetBlue brand colors.
Incorporation of elements such as sleek white counters, portal-shaped distraction banding, a check-in kiosk and flight information display screens showing JetBlue's departing flights at Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, New York/JFK, Orlando and San Juan – the airline's five busiest airports – all suggest a sense of flight and a connection to the airline's operations. The large scale graphics highlight JetBlue's five core values – safety, caring, integrity, fun and passion – and the value airline's mission to bring humanity back to air travel.
Two monumental open staircases create signature features for the space. Each is three stories tall and provides a seamless internal connection between JetBlue's floors. The angular steel and concrete staircases enclosed by glass railings each surround a 40-foot tall, wing-shaped, backlit tower known as the "Wing." Both Wings are self-standing, exposed structures comprised of 14 ultra-slim bezel TVs stream vibrant imagery, JetBlue graphics and social media conversations, creating an ever changing backdrop and unique atmosphere within the space.
JetBlue's office features an open plan with transparency between spaces to allow for a work environment that fosters collaboration. Some of the unique work areas and furniture features include:
- Collaborative lounge spaces equipped at each corner of the floors with the technology to support a variety of uses, from large team meetings, to small scale idea sharing and break-out conversations. Each space is named after a national park, as well as one lounge named after New York's iconic Central Park.
- Chat rooms are available for private conversations or phone calls for one or two people.
- Numerous "touch-down" spaces facilitate idea-sharing among colleagues and visitors, some that include unique media:scape collaboration centers designed by Steelcase.
- Glass-front offices are kept to the building's interior, which allows natural light to filter across open workspaces and collaborative areas providing daylight and views for all.
- Forty-five conference rooms – each named after a city in JetBlue's growing route network – connect to Steelcase's RoomWizard® II Scheduling System with touch-screen displays that provide real-time meeting information directly outside each room.
- Workspace and office furniture by Herman Miller that includes storage units and returns designed specifically for JetBlue.
Similar to the well-known, single-class cabin on its aircraft, JetBlue's office design highlights the airline's focus on egalitarianism. There is one type of open-style workspace for all crewmembers through the manager level. In addition, modest, glass-front offices of the same size are used by all crewmembers from director to chief executive level.
A major portion of JetBlue's space is dedicated to a state-of-the-art System Operations Center that manages JetBlue's 750 flights each day. A critical part of JetBlue's business, the space was designed by Graph and Lewent Architecture and is supported by tier three redundant infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted 24-hour operation. Other elements include ergonomically designed sit/stand desks, natural light harvesting and a feature salt-water fish tank, which is an on-going JetBlue tradition for its System Operations Center.
JetBlue's System Operations Center seamlessly transitioned to Long Island City during the weekend of March 24, 2012. Thanks to more than 1,700 hours of testing and crewmember familiarization, the transition was completely successfully without a single impact to the operation or the airline's customers.
Construction of JetBlue's new corporate office was completed on time and on budget. Construction was managed by Turner Interiors. Other partners integral to the project included TLM Inc., Gleeds USA Inc. and Comsult Communication.
Environmentally-Friendly Design Complements Building's LEED Certification
JetBlue took an environmentally-friendly approach during the construction of its new corporate support center, adding to the Brewster Building's recognition by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as having achieved Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) Silver certification, which designates operation of high performance buildings that are environmentally responsible.
In addition, JetBlue employed the following environmentally friendly approaches during construction and design:
- During construction, all demolition was certified at 90% recycled, reducing the amount of waste. The construction team also reused many existing materials, such as ceiling tiles, sprinkler pipes and other duct work.
- The open office design lets more natural light permeate the floors. Providing glass fronts on all offices and conference rooms further increases the flow of sunlight. These design elements have allowed JetBlue to reduce lighting power usage to just over one watt per square foot.
- Lights are motion-sensitive. When rooms and work areas are not in use, the lights turn off, reducing energy consumption.
- All furniture and carpet is made of sustainable, recycled, LEED-certified materials.
- Providing centralized business centers for printing, copying and faxing reduces the energy consumption of printers and the amount of toner waste. Excess paper is recycled.
- All appliances are Energy Star certified and the HVAC system uses high-efficiency motors with economizers. A central monitoring system controls and balances the HVAC output.
- Environmentally friendly, LEED-certified cleaning products are used by JetBlue business partners and corporate services teams.
- Complimentary daily bike storage is offered by MetLife, providing the resources for JetBlue crewmembers to bike to work.
- Proximity to New York's subway system and commuter railroads make it possible for approximately 77 percent of JetBlue's crewmembers who work at the corporate support center to take public transportation.
JetBlue offers service from seven Empire State airports: Buffalo, New York/Kennedy, New York/LaGuardia, Newburgh, Rochester, Syracuse, and Westchester County. It is the largest domestic carrier at JFK (a) and this summer is doubling operations at LaGuardia with new destinations and more frequent flights to existing cities.
JetBlue is the single largest airline operating nonstop between New York and Florida, between New York and the Caribbean, and the 6th largest passenger carrier in the United States (b), serving 70 destinations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 12 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
JetBlue's home base of operations is Terminal 5 at New York's JFK, a state-of-the art terminal that opened in October of 2008. T5 focuses on efficiency and customer comfort. The 635,000-square-foot terminal boasts 26 gates distributed throughout three concourses and includes a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession Marketplace. T5 is designed to accommodate up to 20 million annual customers with up to 250 daily departures.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline™ with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 70 cities with 750 daily flights and plans to launch service to Dallas/Fort Worth in May. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call +1 800-538-2583 (TTY/TDD +1 800-336-5530) from the USA, or visit www.jetblue.com.
(a) Based on both number of departures and service capacity as measured by Available Seat Miles (ASMs)
(b) Based on service capacity as measured by Available Seat Miles (ASMs)
SOURCE JetBlue Airways