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    Breaking News

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

    (October 24, 2003) -- provides the following information regarding today's meeting in NY between high level officials of the City of LB and JetBlue Airways regarding post curfew flights.

    We are grateful to City Attorney Bob Shannon for his summary of events provided from JFK airport, and to LB Airport staff for providing us with a digital copy of materials given to JetBlue execs today by LB's delegation.

    [From Mr. Shannon's extemporaneous, summary telephone account]

    LB City Manager Jerry Miller, Airport Manager Chris Kunze, City Attorney Bob Shannon and Deputy City Attorney Mike Mais met for roughly an hour and half with JetBlue CEO David Neeleman, VP for Gov't Affairs Rob Land, Flight Operations Mgr. Chris Collins and Director of West Coast Operations Alex Wilcox.

    There was a frank discussion of the issues that brought LB officials to New York. City officials emphasized the concerns of the community and the City Council, specifically that a significant segment of the community is becoming increasingly concerned about after-curfew operations, including by JetBlue. [Mr. Shannon underscored for us that this is a larger problem than just JetBlue.]

    In JetBlue's response, the company made clear it is very mindful of the curfew and in its estimation goes to extraordinary lengths to comply with the curfew.

    City officials presented JetBlue with a packet of materials, including bar graphs showing the level of late night flights. The first document is the bar graph chart in .xls format. The second document is a table of data in .doc format:

    JetBlue made the point that late night operations compared to overall operations are decreasing. City officials responded that even so, looking at the raw numbers, the overall numbers have gone up.

    The city delegation was shown JetBlue's operations center. It appears to be state of the art. Many middle level management made it very clear that LB is known by all to be an airport with a curfew. Only LB and San Diego among JetBlue's routes have such curfews and by JetBlue's estimation they go to extraordinary lengths to see to it that the curfew is complied with.

    Regarding the general tone of the meeting, both sides come from different perspectives. From JetBlue's perspective, it's service to the customer; from the city's perspective it's concern for the community impacted by the airport. With that in mind however, there was a positive tone to the meeting. JetBlue indicated it would respond to the city within the next week in writing.

    Mr. Shannon indicated to that he was hopeful the city will see some progress, but noted he personally hasn't formulated any conclusions as to whether real progress was made until he's able to review the letter that formally describes the actions JetBlue intends to take to address the problem.

    Further to follow as newsworthy.

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