JetBlue Airways, Puerto Rico’s largest airline, marked the return of its full flight schedule on the island after last year’s hurricanes by celebrating with customers, crewmembers and partners at San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).
JetBlue’s return of capacity, which coincides with its 16th anniversary of service in San Juan, came six months earlier than originally planned, given the improved demand for travel to Puerto Rico as the island continues to recover from Hurricane Maria and welcomes new visitors.
To support the increase in service, JetBlue has hired 50 new crewmembers for its San Juan operation, with the new crewmembers joining the airline just in time for the summer peak season. Along with JetBlue’s nearly 500 crewmembers based in Puerto Rico, they will support JetBlue’s up to 48 daily flights between Puerto Rico and 13 cities in the U.S. and the Caribbean (a).
In the days after Hurricane Maria made landfall, JetBlue introduced the 100x35JetBlue initiative, with 35 ways and 100 days – and beyond – of caring for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The initiatives provided immediate first needs for the community, while also focusing on long-term, productive partnerships with key entities, such as the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), to encourage the return of tourism, contribute to the local economy, and invest in the island’s future. JetBlue has gradually increased its flights as demand has grown from ‘visiting friends and relatives customers’ who travel back and forth to the island. JetBlue has also been working with PRTC to encourage visitors to return to Puerto Rico and to offer world-class hospitality both in the air and on the ground through JetBlue’s hospitality training for industry workers.
Routes from San Juan:
Investing in Puerto Rico’s Future
JetBlue’s long-term 100x35JetBlue initiatives continue within the community, most recently with an announcement this week that as part of its 16th anniversary celebration of service to Puerto Rico, the JetBlue Foundation has pledged $100,000 worth of grants to STEM education programs on the island. Grants from the JetBlue Foundation will help further the airline’s efforts to invest in the island’s future and place aviation fields top-of-mind as career choices for students. The JetBlue Foundation will award $100,000 to qualified schools and organizations to fuel learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The JetBlue Foundation is currently accepting letters of inquiry for grants through June 29, 2018. To help other STEM and aviation-focused organizations navigate the application process, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, a previous JetBlue Foundation grant recipient, will offer a grant writing workshop. The school will share best practices that helped them receive a grant in 2016 for its “Girls in Aviation” program which aims to spark an interest in STEM for girls ages 10-17. The workshop will take place on June 22 at the Inter American School of Law in Hato Rey. Guests can RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs are required for attendance. For grant criteria or to submit a letter of inquiry, interested organizations can visit jetbluefoundation.org/grants. Grant recipients will be announced in fall 2018.
In addition, this summer the JetBlue Foundation and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) will host their second annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy initiative in San Juan, introducing students ages 14 to 18 to careers in aviation.
JetBlue’s hurricane recovery efforts also include projects aimed at restoring the island’s natural resources and beauty. JetBlue’s recent “Green Up” campaign included two Puerto Rico-based conservation organizations customers could vote to select to receive “Green Up” grants, with Centro de Restauración: Vida Marina Center for Coastal Restoration and Conservation at the University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla having been chosen to receive a $15,000 grant.
JetBlue’s crewmembers in San Juan volunteered more than 1,000 hours in the local community during 2017 and won the JetBlue “Blue City of the Year” Award. As winners of this honor, the team will get to donate $10,000 to their favorite charity.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by JetBlue): JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N537JT (msn 1785) (Highrise) SJU (Raul Sepulveda). Image: 936971.
JetBlue aircraft slide show: