JetBlue (Nasdaq:JBLU) today announced it has selected Fort Lauderdale as the new home for its JetBlue Travel Products subsidiary. JetBlue Travel Products consists of the JetBlue Vacations brand and other non-air travel products including travel insurance, cruises, car rentals and more.
Fort Lauderdale is one of JetBlue’s six focus cities. As the JetBlue Travel Products subsidiary grows, the move to South Florida places the subsidiary right at the center of the travel and tourism industry. Fort Lauderdale is a major center of operations for JetBlue’s international flights to and from the Caribbean and Latin America, two regions which now account for one-third of the airline’s network. Today the airline serves 59 destinations from Fort Lauderdale and is growing toward 140 daily departures.
JetBlue Travel Products is laying the foundation for the next level of ancillary earnings growth, building on the JetBlue brand. Andres Barry was recently appointed president of the JetBlue subsidiary. In his new role, he will lead JetBlue Travel Products and work to expand its presence throughout the broader travel experience.
“Just as our venture capital arm JetBlue Technology Ventures has found success by being based in Silicon Valley, Fort Lauderdale will be the perfect location to grow JetBlue Travel Products,” said Barry. “In Broward, JetBlue has established a major network serving cities across the U.S. as well as top leisure destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. With its vibrant economy, especially in travel and tourism, we believe it makes a lot of sense to base our business here. We look forward to becoming an even greater part of the community in Broward County.”
South Florida is very important to JetBlue. The airline’s inaugural flight, Flight #1, took off from New York’s JFK Airport in February 2000 bound for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. JetBlue is already a top employer in South Florida, with more than 1,800 local crewmembers.
JetBlue Airways Corp. will continue to be based in New York City. By locating the subsidiary and the core airline teams separately but highly connected, each can focus on successfully delivering the best customer experience and creating value for owners while continuing to collaborate on future products that only JetBlue can offer.
“I want to thank JetBlue Travel Products for selecting Florida as the home for their headquarters. Florida’s world-class tourism industry continues to attract and grow businesses, like JetBlue Travel Products,” said Governor Rick Scott. “Through our pro-business policies, the Fort Lauderdale area has created more than 12,000 new private-sector jobs in the last year and Florida has created over 1.5 million jobs since December 2010. Florida is a national leader in job growth and we will continue to fight to ensure all Floridians have the opportunity for a great job.”
“JetBlue’s selection of Fort Lauderdale for its travel products headquarters is great news,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee which oversees the airline industry. “The company’s commitment to expanding its operations in South Florida will support jobs and the economy.”
“JetBlue is a strong corporate citizen that has stepped up repeatedly for Floridians in their time of need. My office has worked closely with them over the years, and I thank them for their continued commitment to Florida,” said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. “By choosing Fort Lauderdale as the new home for JetBlue Travel Products, JetBlue is continuing to keep their focus and investment in Florida, providing thousands of jobs for Floridians.”
“JetBlue is a large, vital and growing part of the workforce and economy in Greater Fort Lauderdale, and a wonderful community supporter,” said Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County’s public private partnership for economic development. “We couldn’t be prouder that they have chosen Fort Lauderdale as the location for their Travel Products subsidiary. We wish them every continued success here and throughout their international footprint.”
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