March 17, 2021 by Allie Griffin
JetBlue is considering moving its headquarters from Long Island City, where it has been for about a decade, according to a new report.
The airline, which calls itself “New York’s Hometown Airline”, has been headquartered in Queens since it was founded in 1999.
However, JetBlue may move jobs from its headquarters in Long Island City, 27-01 Queens Plaza North, to Florida, according to an internal memo from the New York Post.
The company wrote in a March 11 memo to employees that it will be looking for alternative options before July 2023 when the Long Island City lease expires, the Post reported.
Those options include posting workers to the Sunshine State, where the airline has a training center in Orlando and another headquarters in Fort Lauderdale – or moving to another neighborhood, the article says.
Still, JetBlue did not rule out a stay in Long Island City, where more than 1,300 people are employed.
“We are exploring a number of avenues including staying in Long Island City, moving to another location in New York City, and / or relocating a number of avenues to be determined [headquarter] Roles in existing support centers in Florida, ”reads the Post’s memo.
The company wrote that it has more leasing options as vacancies have increased due to the pandemic and the role of a physical office in a “hybrid work environment” will continue to evolve.
JetBlue has suffered financial success from COVID-19 as the number of people who have traveled has fallen over the past year. The potential to reduce costs is an important factor in rental decisions.
The airline said it plans to make a final decision on its headquarters later this year, according to the memo quoted by the Post.
Councilor Jimmy Van Bramer said it would be a huge loss to the community if JetBlue moved, despite noting that the company was also considering moving to Florida 10 years ago in relation to Long Island City. It had been in Kew Gardens before Long Island City.
“The company has already gone through this and they have chosen Long Island City. I hope they do this again,” he said. “They bring a lot of vitality to the region and I know they are proud of their connection with Queens.”
Van Bramer didn’t say whether the city should offer tax incentives to keep the airline here, but noted that it was in the district’s best interest to have them here.
“I think the city has to keep it here,” he said. “We have to find out what they’re looking for and go from there.”