JetBlue CEO David Neeleman Supports Hollings/McCain Bill To Give Smaller Carriers Access To Major Airports
-- Airline CEO Says Competition Will Cure Service Woes --
New York, NY (March 13, 2001) – Competition will cure the airline industry’s customer service ills, says David Neeleman, CEO of New York’s hometown, low-fare carrier JetBlue Airways. But, first, smaller carriers must have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
Speaking at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing today, Mr. Neeleman said: “Today’s airline industry is perceived as late, uncaring, uncomfortable and expensive. The answer to many of the problems plaguing the industry is not a re-regulation of the industry, or laws governing how big an employee’s smile ought to be, but rather the capitalist cure known as competition.”
“The role of government,” he continued, “should be to ensure that smaller carriers have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, in particular at constrained facilities where it matters most.”
JetBlue strongly supports S-414, the Aviation Competition Restoration Act, introduced by Senators Hollings and McCain. This bill, particularly Section 4, requires the Secretary to investigate the use of gates and facilities at the 35 largest airports and determine whether they are being fully utilized, whether they are available for competitors and whether they should be reassigned to non-dominant carriers in order to improve competition. Following such an investigation, the Secretary would be required to make such facilities available to an applicant airline on a fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis. While other carriers have had difficulty obtaining access to numerous airports, JetBlue has been effectively locked out of two airports important to New Yorkers, both Boston’s Logan and Washington’s Reagan National.
“Of the top 1,000 passenger markets in the United States, the Boston-New York market is the third largest, despite average one-way fares of nearly 80 cents per mile, and the Washington-New York market is the fifth largest, with one-way fares of over 60 cents per mile,” Mr. Neeleman said. “In fact, fifteen years ago, when there was low fare competition, these two markets had two million more passengers than they do now. Imagine how much commerce and leisure traffic would be stimulated by JetBlue’s everyday low fares to and from New York’s JFK.”
From its base at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City’s most on-time airport,1 JetBlue flies six times daily to Fort Lauderdale, FL; five times daily to Buffalo and Rochester, NY; four times daily to Orlando, FL; three times daily to West Palm Beach and Tampa, FL; twice daily to Burlington, VT; and daily to Los Angeles/Ontario, San Francisco/Oakland, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, and Fort Myers, FL. JetBlue will add daily service to both Seattle, WA, and Denver, C0, beginning May 1 and 17, respectively, as well as three times daily service to Syracuse, NY, starting May 7. The airline also will add second daily flights to Oakland, on May 1, and Ontario, on May 17
JetBlue currently operates 64 flights a day with a fleet of eleven brand new, environmentally-friendly Airbus A320 aircraft, outfitted with roomy all-leather seats each equipped with LiveTV, offering 24-channel satellite television at every seat. LiveTV is available free of charge to all JetBlue passengers. In 2001, JetBlue will take delivery of 10 more brand new Airbus A320 aircraft.
With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and a Saturday night stay is never required. For more information, schedules, and fares, please visit our website at www.jetblue.com or call JetBlue reservations at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).
* - Fares do not include a per segment $2.75 Federal tax and up to $6.00 Airport Passenger Facility Charge.
1- According to the March-November 2000 Air Travel Consumer Report provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation.