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    We Post JetBlue Letter To City Hall In Response To High-Level NYC Confab re Post-Curfew Flights

    (November 14, 2003) -- Following an Oct. 24 NYC meeting involving high level officials of the City of LB and JetBlue Airways regarding post curfew flights (previous coverage on link below), JetBlue's chairman and CEO David Neeleman has sent a letter to LB City Manager Jerry Miller.

    Among the points made in his three page letter (posted in its entirety on a link below, extended excerpts in text below), Mr. Neeleman said JetBlue maintains an operational spare aircraft at LB -- and as of Nov. 1 has a reserve spare crew in LB always available for evening operations. This redundancy allows the reserve crew to dispatch the spare aircraft if an inbound crew is running late or personnel become ill or unavailable, Mr. Neeleman's letter said.

    The letter also notes that JetBlue's manager of Air Traffic Programs is investing time at LGB to work on more favorable arrival and departure patterns, and is working with JFK Air Traffic Control Tower management to expedite JetBlue departures to LB during inclement weather or other delays in the east.

    Mr. Neeleman's letter states in part:

    ...As we discussed, JetBlue's efforts to date have already dramatically reduced the number of our violations and late night operations at LGB. When events beyond our control do cause such a violation, however, we are proud that the full penalty we are assessed goes directly to the City's Library system.

    ...JetBlue has made a substantial investment in maintaining an operational spare aircraft at Long Beach solely for the purpose of being able to mitigate unanticipated delays in our operations.

    Going forward, I am proud to articulate new JetBlue initiatives that we believe will even further reduce JetBlue's late night operations at Long Beach:

    1) Crew Base and Base Reserves. Effective November 1st, JetBlue opened a pilot and inflight crewbase in Long Beach...I have instructed our scheduling department to ensure that there is always a reserve crew available for evening operations at Long Beach. Although this will significantly add to our operating expenses, we are confident this will further reduce late night operation in the event a pilot or flight attendant should become ineligible to work due to FAA regulations, sick or for example if an inbound crew is running late we can use our reserve crew to dispatch the spare aircraft we have in Long Beach. This resource redundancy will have a significant effect in lessening late night operations.

    2) Our manager of Air Traffic Programs is investing time in LGB to work on more favorable arrival and departure patterns, and even more significantly is working with the JFK Air Traffic Control Tower management to expedite JetBlue departures to Long Beach whenever we experience inclement weather or other delaying factors beyond our control in the East. This effort should even further reduce the incidence of late arrivals even during periods when the average taxi times at JFK exceed 30 minutes.

    ...[M]ore than one million customers have already flown on JetBlue at Long Beach, and since our arrival property values throughout the city have risen. Further, JetBlue continues to operate only the most modern, environmentally friendly aircraft at Long Beach, unlike other carriers, which produce the minimal amount of noise and air pollution possible. In fact, the full operating schedule at LGB produces significantly less air pollution in a day than does even 5 minutes of traffic on the nearby 405 freeway.

    To view JetBlue's letter in its entirety, click JetBlue letter to LB, Nov. 12, 2003.

    In a memo transmitting JetBlue's letter to Councilmembers, City Manager Miller says in pertinent part:

    Although staff is still reviewing Mr. Neeleman's correspondence, it would appear that JetBlue is committed to making procedural and technical improvements, which would enhance the airline's ability to comply with our noise ordinance. Of course, we will continue to closely monitor JetBlue's operations to evaluate the impact of these procedural changes on improved performance.

    Reaction is pending as we post.

    Related coverage:

  • Inside Oct. 24 High Level LB-JetBlue Meeting Re Post-Curfew Flights

  • Return To Front Page

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