Monday, August 20, 2018

JetBlue Puerto Rico relief program transitions to ‘long-term recovery phase’

By on January 9, 2018

SAN JUAN – JetBlue announced Tuesday the 100-day milestone of its 100x35JetBlue hurricane relief initiative, which launched shortly after Hurricane María struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.

Named after the island’s approximate dimensions, 100 miles by 35 miles, the airline outlined “100 days and 35 ways – and beyond – of caring for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.” It said it has “completed or launched” 34 of the 35 initiatives, and now transitions to initiative No. 35: “developing a long-term plan for supporting Puerto Rico and fostering economic growth.

In Tuesday’s release the largest airline in Puerto Rico said it had made a commitment to its crew members, customers and communities by pledging to assist in the island’s rebuilding and recovery. “Puerto Rico is home to nearly 500 JetBlue crewmembers who support the airline’s operations in its focus city of San Juan, as well as in Aguadilla and Ponce,” the airline explained.

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With the help of its crew members, “as well as partners such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, and the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.,” the airline has provided “free and reduced rate air transportation; charitable fundraising support; donation and delivery of supplies and services to meet the basic needs of the community; overall reconstruction efforts; and activities to restore a sense of normalcy to those most impacted by the storms.”

The following are some of the actions the airline said it has taken in the past 100 days:

  • Operating over 450 special relief flights for Hurricane Maria recovery efforts
  • Providing more than 1,100 seats to the island for emergency personnel, relief workers, and non-profits at no cost
  • Making a $1 million in-kind contribution commitment to transport relief workers and cargo from New York as part of the Empire State Relief and Recovery efforts
  • Offering reduced fares for customers to/from Puerto Rico, including two free checked bags and waived pet fees, in the immediate aftermath of the storm
  • Sending more than 1.5 million pounds of relief supplies on JetBlue and in partnership with Atlas Air
  • Partnering with celebrities to conduct relief flights to raise awareness for recovery efforts and deliver much-needed supplies
  • Quickly resuming service from all three cities JetBlue serves in Puerto Rico: San Juan (SJU), Aguadilla (BQN) and Ponce (PSE). During 2018, JetBlue plans to operate up to 30 daily roundtrip flights to/from Puerto Rico including 25 in San Juan alone.
  • Continuing to monitor booking trends closely and adjusting flight schedules and seat capacity as demand necessitates.
  • Granting $1.2 million in grants to impacted JetBlue crewmembers in Puerto Rico to get back on their feet through the JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund
  • Supporting Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s efforts to promote tourism to the island

“As Puerto Rico’s largest airline, we have an ability – and a responsibility – to play a significant role in rebuilding the economy by supporting the return of tourism,” JetBlue President and CEO Robin Hayes says in the release of.“We’ve already begun planning these initiatives with our partners at the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. We know that Puerto Rico has a bright future, and we pledge to stand alongside the community as the island recovers and thrives.”

JetBlue’s 100-day milestone coincided with Three Kings Day. The airline said it donated 1,200 toys to the Puerto Rico first lady’s holiday event, as well as formula, diapers and other essential supplies to the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. for distribution at its San Jorge Children Hospital’s event.

It also distributed about 3,500 toys to children in five communities with the help of professional baseball players and “hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the community, crewmembers, and partners.”

For more information on the initiative, and ways to assist in Puerto Rico’s, visit www.jetblue.com/100×35.

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