Jetblue

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JetBlue Beginnings and Operational Methods

Steve Brindza

Ohio Dominican University

JetBlue Beginnings and Operational Methods

This section details the history of JetBlue, focusing on the activities of founder, David Neeleman. JetBlue Airways, based in Forest Hills, New York, was founded in February, 1999, by David Neeleman, the son of Mormon missionaries. He was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, but raised in a tightly-knit Mormon family (Gajilan, 2003). After serving as a Brazilian missionary during college, Neeleman returned to his family’s base in Salt Lake City and began an enterprising condominium rental business. As a tenacious seller, Neeleman’s approach caught the eye of June Morris, a major Utah corporate travel agency owner. With her assitance and funding, the two founded Morris Air in 1984. This charter air service modeled itself after Herb Kelleher’s Southwest Airlines (Gajilan, 2003), looking to keep flight costs low and speeding up airplane readiness. Perhaps Neeleman’s most prolific step at this time was utilizing stay-at-home Utah matriarchs to work as his reservations. Customers rarely discerned that the order-taker was situated in her living room, with PC software provided by Morris Air (Friedman, 2007). In 1992, Morris Air’s cost containment processes and procedures caught the eye of Herb Kelleher at Southwest. A deal was struck, and Southwest purchased Morris Air for $129 million. At the time, June Morris was beginning treatment for breast cancer, so David Neeleman knew he would be taking on more responsibility with whatever new venture he undertook (Gajilan, 2003). After the buyout, he stayed on at Southwest for six months; upon leaving, he signed an industry noncompete agreement spanning five years (“JetBlue,” n.d). Neeleman next created Open Skies, an e-ticketing and booking agency, that he founded with his friend, David Evans. This venture kept Neeleman in the airline



References: Barney J. B., & Hesterly, W. S. (2010). Strategic management and competitive advantage: Concepts and cases, (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. A Change in the cockpit at JetBlue. (2007, May 11). Business Week Online. Source Business Source Complete. Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Gajilan, A. T. (2003, May). The Amazing JetBlue. FSB: Fortune Small Business, 14(4), 51. Retrieved from Business Source Complete. JetBlue. (n.d.). In Hoover’s online. Retrieved from http://subscriber.hoovers.com.ezproxy.ohiodominican.edu/H/company360/overview.html?companyId=99674000000000 JetBlue Appoints Chairman as Part of Succession Plan. (2008, May 22). Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition, 251(120), B7. Sellers, P. (2010, July 26). The Next JetBlue. Fortune, 162(2), 97-100. Retrieved from Business Source Complete.

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