JetBlue’s founder joins bid to start private jet commuter service
JetBlue’s founder David Neeleman registered a new aviation business this summer, targeting an underserved portion of the charter market.
David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways Corp., registered a new aviation business this summer in Connecticut, sparking immediate speculation in the airline industry that he might be starting a new U.S. airline.
Neeleman, 57, is joining a plan to launch a charter air enterprise, tentatively called Azura Airways Corp., using two Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets with as few as 16 seats, said Trey Urbahn, an industry veteran and longtime adviser to Neeleman.
The venture by Neeleman and Urbahn is targeting what they see as an underserved portion of the charter market for companies with regular movements of employees among corporate locations, university sports teams and wealthy people who don’t have private jets.
he company wants to make one thing clear: Azura, which is internally dubbed “Acme Rocket Co.,” isn’t an airline and never will be. “The fundamental thought here is there’s an asset play,” Urbahn said of the inexpensive regional jets. “We don’t know yet where this can go. But it’s a worthwhile little experiment.”
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