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David Neeleman
Chief Executive Officer
JetBlue Airways Corporation

JetBlue Airways began operations in February, 2000 from its base at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and now, three years later, serves 20 cities across the U.S with a fleet of 37 brand new Airbus A320 aircraft.

As CEO of JetBlue Airways, David Neeleman has launched his third successful aviation business and is realizing his desire to bring humanity back to air travel, by offering passengers low fares, friendly service and a high quality product.

David's career in the airline industry began in 1984 when he co-founded a low-fare carrier called Morris Air with June Morris, the owner of Salt Lake City-based travel agency Morris Travel. As President of Morris Air, David implemented the industry's first electronic ticketing system and pioneered a home reservationist system that is now the foundation of JetBlue's unique call center: all calls to JetBlue's reservation number are handled by reservationists working out of their homes.

Following the sale of Morris Air and a short period with Southwest Airlines, David took the electronic ticketing system that he had initiated at Morris Air and developed it into Open Skies, the world's simplest airline reservation system. David sold Open Skies to Hewlett Packard in 1999. Also during this period, David acted as a consultant to WestJet Airlines, the successful Canadian low-fare start-up airline.

In 1999, after the conclusion of his five-year non-compete agreement with Southwest Airlines, David decided the time was right to bring his successful airline formula - innovative, high quality service plus low fares equals a strong and loyal market - to one of the country's largest aviation markets, New York City. He assembled a hand-picked management team of airline industry veterans and secured $130 million in capital funding from investors such as Weston Presidio Capital, George Soros and Chase Capital.

In just its second full year of service, JetBlue was named "Best U.S. Airline" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler in both their 2002 Readers' Choice Awards and 2002 Business Travel Awards.

David has been called one of the Top Ten Entrepreneurs of 2000 by Business Week magazine, a Travel Industry Innovator by Time magazine, and one of the Most Influential Business Travel Executives by Business Travel News.

David lives with his wife Vicki and their nine children in New Canaan, Connecticut.

 

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