03.18.21

SCHUMER DIALS-UP CEO OF JETBLUE AMID REPORT OF RECEDING AIRLINE IN NEW YORK; URGES ROBIN HAYES TO KEEP JETBLUE HQ IN NYC, WHERE ABOUT 1,300 JOBS HAVE LANDED; MORE THAN 7K JETBLUE EMPLOYEES CALL NEW YORK STATE HOME BASE

Schumer Had Strong Conversation With JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes Amid Report That Airline Is ‘Exploring’ A Move Amid Pandemic; Schumer Says Moving Would Cause Turbulence For Thousands Of JetBlue’s New York Employees & Doesn’t Need To Happen  

Schumer Has A Long, 20-Year History Working With JetBlue & Helped Work The Deal For Their Takeoff In NY; His Call To Hayes Comes As Critical Help From Just-Passed Relief Package --That All But Saved Entire Airline Community With $14 Billion In Direct Aid For Industry & Their Employees-- Lands  

Schumer: Plane & Simple, JetBlue Will Remain ‘New York’s Hometown’ Airline

Amid a report saying New York’s ‘hometown airline,’ JetBlue, is weighing a move from its New York City (LIC) headquarters to another location outside the state, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has dialed-up JetBlue airline CEO Robin Hayes and pushed him to keep JetBlue’s headquarters in the city and the airline’s more than 7,000 jobs right here in New York State.

“JetBlue has always said it best: since their start up in 1998, to their first flight from JFK in 2000, their home, heart and soul have always remained in New York,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who worked with the airline to launch in its earliest days.

Schumer made the case to Hayes to keep the 1,300-person NYC headquarter jobs, and the roughly 7,000 JetBlue employees who report to New York locations every day right where they are. Schumer’s call to Hayes comes as the New York Post reported on details from a March 11thmemo that laid out a consideration for the airline to leave New York for ‘more abundant office space.’

“The purpose of my call to Mr. Hayes was simply to remind him that JetBlue’s roots and its future are here in New York. With the critical pandemic relief dollars we just delivered on to help save airlines like JetBlue, and the thousands and thousands of New Yorkers they already employ, the airline should actually clear the runway to grow here, not recede. Bottom line, I am confident JetBlue will remain New York’s hometown airline for a long time to come,” Schumer added. 

According to the Post, the March 11th memo from JetBlue said, “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…..” The memo added, “We now have more leasing options as greater vacancy rates have changed the economics; the role of the office and our space requirements will evolve in a hybrid work environment; and our own financial condition has been impacted by COVID-19.”

The just-passed $1.9T American Rescue Plan Schumer helped lead through the Senate included critically-needed help for pandemic-hit airlines and their countless workers. The bill delivered $14 billion in direct aid to the airline industry for payroll extension programs that help prevent mass layoffs, providing some reprieve as the economy and that industry fully recovers from COVID.  

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