2009 Press Releases

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NBAA Letter Calls On JetBlue to Pull Online Ad Campaign

Ads malign an industry that creates jobs, serves towns across the U.S.

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]
Patrick Dunne (202) 783-9263, [email protected]

Washington, DC, March 20, 2009 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today sent the following letter to JetBlue President and CEO David Barger in regard to the airline's recent online advertising campaign, which maligns business aviation in an attempt to boost ticket sales.

"The online advertising campaign produced by JetBlue overlooks the fact that the people and companies in business aviation are among the airlines' best customers," Bolen said upon sending the letter. "Equally important, the ads disparage an industry that creates more than a million jobs and provides a lifeline to communities across America's heartland – many of which aren't served by JetBlue. It also helps companies be more nimble in this highly challenging economy and supports countless humanitarian flights each year. It's disappointing that the airline has chosen to target an industry that comprises a significant portion of its own customer base, and also serves as the economic backbone of the country."

The text of Bolen's letter is as follows:      

March 20, 2009

Mr. David Barger
President and Chief Operating Officer
JetBlue Airways Corporation
118-29 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Dear Mr. Barger:

I was disappointed to see JetBlue's recent online advertising campaign. As you know, the vast majority of the companies that utilize business aviation also use commercial airlines – including yours – on trips when it makes sense. NBAA's Members purchase over $11 billion worth of commercial airline tickets annually.

However, when it comes to meeting their transportation challenges, JetBlue simply doesn't make sense for our members in a large number of instances. Here are just a few examples to illustrate my point:

  • JetBlue doesn't make sense for businesses located in any of the thousands of towns and communities your airline doesn't serve.
  • JetBlue doesn't make sense for the many companies that often need to conduct business in three or more cities in a single day.
  • Jet Blue doesn't make sense if a company is trying to move a product that does not fit in one of your overhead bins, or if the equipment is too sensitive to be checked or shipped.
  • Jet Blue doesn't make sense if employees with a company need to discuss company business while flying without fear of being overheard by eavesdroppers.

It's unfortunate to see that your ad campaign overlooks these realities, and promotes a caricature that does not represent the people and
companies that need business aviation to compete and survive, especially in this challenging economic climate.

I ask that you please immediately pull your ads in recognition of the fact that they amount to nothing more than an attention-grabbing stunt to fill airline seats by maligning the people and businesses who spend billions with your airline and others each year, while also generating more than a million jobs and providing a lifeline for towns across the country. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
 
Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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