JetBlue not departing New York for Florida, expanding at JFK

NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue is not departing New York.

The low-cost airline announced Tuesday that it will keep its headquarters in Queens and expand its flagship terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

JetBlue had considered moving its headquarters to Florida when its lease at a building in Long Island City ends in 2023. The airline already operates a training center in Orlando and has a subsidiary based in Fort Lauderdale.

Instead, the airline said that after going through a competitive bidding process it intends to stay in New York where it began in 1998. The airline will negotiate a new lease for its headquarters building.

CEO Robin Hayes said New York is still a great place to live, work and visit, and JetBlue wants to help the city recover from the pandemic.

The announcement was praised immediately by leaders in New York.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said JetBlue’s growth at JFK Airport will create thousands of new jobs. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the airline has promoted travel to the entire state. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s recovery means keeping iconic companies like JetBlue.

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