JetBlue, New York’s “hometown airline,” considers joining other businesses and fleeing to Florida

by Peter Heck · Mar 18th, 2021 6:12 pm

Last Updated Mar 19th, 2021 at 8:31 am

Though JetBlue airlines markets itself as "New York's hometown airline," having been founded in Queens in 1998, the company is considering moving from high-tax, high-regulation New York state to the freer business environment of Florida.

Writing to its staff in early March, JetBlue explained that the lease at its Long Island headquarters was up in July of 2023, and the company was reviewing all options.

"We are exploring a number of paths, including staying in Long Island City, moving to another space in New York City, and/or shifting a to-be-determined number of [headquarter] roles to existing support centers in Florida," the letter said.

Some think that JetBlue's threat to move south is a strategic one, aimed at getting a better deal from a city desperate to retain fleeing businesses. JetBlue threatened to move to Florida once before. In 2010, the airline was weighing an offer to move its operations to Orlando before being eventually persuaded to stay by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


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