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    Sights and Sounds of Jet Blue Inaugural LB Flight to NYC, August 29, 2001

    (Sept. 2, 2001) -- "We're gonna fly so many people outta here you won't be able to believe it," boasted JetBlue CEO David Neeleman, drawing applause from members of LB's political and business establishment.

    Below are some of the sights and sounds as JetBlue prepared to launch its inaugural commercial flight from LB Airport to NYC's JFK Airport on August 29.

    Taboada, O'Neill arrive in JetBlue VW In a choreographed entrance, City Manager Henry Taboada chauffeured Mayor Beverly O'Neill (passenger seat, shadowed) onto the tarmac in a JetBlue company VW. Kristy Ardizzone, JetBlue's West Coast Opportunities Manager looks on. Ms. Ardizzone continues to chair City Hall's appointed Airport Advisory Commission.

    JetBlue plane on tarmacVisitors were allowed to tour one of JetBlue's Airbus A320 Aircraft (LB Airport Mgr. Chris Kunze walks across tarmac in foreground). JetBlue says by 2003, 27 of these planes could take off and land every day at LB Airport. City officials and business leaders applauded.

    JetBlue's NeelemanJetBlue CEO David Neeleman (with Mayor Beverly O'Neill, Councilmember Jackie Kell, City Manager Henry Taboada, LB Area Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past Pres. Mike Murray at right) told the crowd:
    ...You know, everybody said it couldn't be done in Long Beach. Everybody said it couldn't be done here, that this was an airline graveyard. Well, we're gonna show 'em what an airline graveyard is. We're gonna fly so many people outta here you won't be able to believe it. So we're excited to be here. This is going to be a real success...

    Mayor O'Neill speaksLB Mayor Beverly O'Neill said:
    What a great day this is for the city of Long Beach, the ability to fly out of Long Beach for New York...and today is just the first flight. October 8th we're going to Dulles -- see, it's we, not just JetBlue -- and the next two years they'll be adding other destinations...We are so fortunate. We couldn't have asked for better means of filling available slots at our airport than to have JetBlue be our partner...

    Councilwoman Kell speaks5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell told the gathering:
    Am I lucky to represent the 5th district, or what? This is a win-win situation, the most winable situation I've ever seen. JetBlue wins because they had the foresight to recognize Long Beach as the opportunity that it is. And for years, almost every group I have met with, both residents and business people, have been asking for more flights from their hometown airport to major destinations. With this start of service to New York today, JetBlue is tapping what I believe to be a gold mine.

    And the people of Long Beach win, because not only are we getting the service we asked for but it is being provided by an airline that started out by making a commitment to be sensitive to our community. They have agreed to a slow schedule of announcing new destinations and allowing neighborhoods to become accustomed to the increased number of flights. And those flights will be some of the world's quietest, most emission friendly passenger jets available...

    City Mgr. Taboada speaksCity Manager Henry Taboada said:
    ...My task this morning is a simple one: that is, to marry the service that JetBlue provides with the facilities that the City of Long Beach will provide.

    Now I was just a young lad of 15 years when I first flew out of this airport, as a youngster going to Catalina on a scheduled airline, Western Airlines, DC 3 service to Catalina and I've been hooked on flying ever since...It is gratifying for me to be a part of today...

    Airport Advisory Comm'ners Brown, ArdizzoneAirport Advisory Commissioners Derek K. Brown and (chair) Kristy Ardizzone look on.

    Front row VIPsFirst row guests include (at left) former Vice Mayor/3d district Councilman Doug Drummond, City Auditor Gary Burroughs and (at right) Councilmembers (and Mayoral candidates) Ray Grabinski and Vice Mayor Dan Baker.

    LB business leadersLB Airport area business leader (Aeroplex) and former Airport Advisory Commission member Curt Castagna and LB Area Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past President Mike Murray.

    JetBlue flies two NYC flights into and out of LB Airport each day. It plans two Washington, D.C. (Dulles) flights a day into and out of LB starting in October.

    JetBlue holds 27 of LB's 41 large plane flight slots, reserving them in May after the City Council (without publicly mentioning JetBlue) changed a LB ordinance so carriers could hold slots for up to two years before flying.

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