JetBlue Breaks Ground on Crew Lodge at Orlando International Airport
292-Room Facility to Create Hundreds of Construction Jobs and 50 Permanent New Jobs for Orlando Residents --
New York, NY (June 7, 2006) – JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today broke ground at Orlando International Airport for construction on its $24.5 million JetBlue Crew Lodge, which will be used to accommodate the airline’s crewmembers who are in the Greater Orlando area conducting training and other related airline business. The Lodge will be situated on 4.5 acres of a total 6.5 acres leased from the Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA) as the JetBlue Training Center Support Facility, and will create hundreds of construction jobs and 50 permanent new jobs for Orlando residents.
Expected to be completed in approximately 14 to 18 months, the JetBlue Crew Lodge will operate like a unique hotel, delivering the JetBlue experience to the airline’s crewmembers in a campus-like setting. It will feature 292 guest rooms, a 4,000 square-foot assembly room, a 1,000 square-foot fitness center, two quiet study rooms and four additional meeting rooms, an e-library and a great room. Outdoor amenities of the Lodge will include a pool, sports court and outdoor kitchen facilities.
“Building on our long-standing partnership with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Governor Jeb Bush, Mayor Buddy Dyer and County Chairman Rich Crotty have all stepped up to the plate to help take JetBlue’s commitment to Central Florida to the next level,” said Dave Barger, President and COO of JetBlue Airways. “We were also fortunate to have the support of a variety of community organizations such as the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. Today’s ground breaking is a very exciting day for us all.”
"I congratulate JetBlue as they celebrate today's groundbreaking, and thank them for their continued investment in the Sunshine State,” said Florida Governor Jeb Bush. “This latest expansion will support the training of thousands of JetBlue crewmembers on an annual basis, and I join with the citizens of Central Florida to warmly welcome them during their stay."
“We are excited about JetBlue expanding their presence here in the City of Orlando,” said Buddy Dyer, Mayor, City of Orlando. “The JetBlue employees who come here to train at the JetBlue University will be spending several weeks in Orlando, giving them the opportunity to explore our City and all it has to offer. JetBlue’s continued growth in this community is contributing to our efforts to diversify the economy.”
"JetBlue's operation at Orlando International Airport is first class in every way," said Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty. "The company is a terrific community partner and an example of the kind of high value employment we want to grow in Orange County. Congratulations!"
“Orlando International Airport is becoming the Hub of Florida’s Airline Industry, and we are proud to see JetBlue Airways becoming the centerpiece of Florida’s Aviation future,” said Rep. Bob Allen who’s Florida House District 32 includes the Orlando International Airport.
“The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority applauds JetBlue’s vision for the future as they continue to expand and invest in Central Florida,” said Jeff Fuqua, Chairman, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “Their reputation for excellence and innovation in customer service and contribution to the diversification of the economy by bringing this unique concept of a University Lodge to our airport will bring new opportunities to our region.”
The Lodge will be constructed by Manhattan Construction, with Mitchell, Carlson, Stone, Inc. as the design architect and lead for the design team. Isis Investments is the developer, and Tishman Construction Corporation serves as owner’s representative. Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) will serve as the Lodge operator.
The JetBlue Crew Lodge will complement two other JetBlue support facilities at the Orlando International Airport: a support campus that offers initial and recurrent training for the airline’s Flight Operations, Flight Attendant, Technical Operations and Customer Service crewmembers that was opened on June 6, 2005; and a LiveTV three-bay hangar facility opened on April 26, 2005. LiveTV is the wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue that provides the inflight satellite television system available on all JetBlue aircraft. In addition, JetBlue will celebrate its sixth year of service at Orlando International Airport on June 21.
In the six years since its launch, JetBlue Airways has focused on creating a new airline category – an airline that offers value, service and style. Based out of New York City, the low-cost carrier currently serves 37 destinations with more than 400 flights daily. Onboard JetBlue, customers enjoy roomy leather seats and 36 channels of free DIRECTV® programming (a), the most live TV
available on any airline. On flights longer than two hours, a selection of first-run movies and bonus features from FOX InFlight™ is also available. JetBlue offers customers generous brand name snacks and beverages, including freshly brewed Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and delicious wines selected by the airline's Low Fare Sommelier, Josh Wesson from Best Cellars. On overnight flights from the West, the airline now offers Shut-Eye Service, with a Shut-Eye Kit™ designed exclusively for JetBlue by Bliss Spa and other special amenities including a "good morning" hot towel service. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit www.jetblue.com.
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