SOURCE: JetBlue

November 13, 2013 11:15 ET

JetBlue Opens Customer Contact Center in Orlando

Will Add 500 Jobs Over Five Years in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwired - November 13, 2013) - JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) today celebrated the opening of its customer contact center at JetBlue University in Orlando, Fla. This customer support facility will complement the airline's main contact center in Salt Lake City.

"We may be New York's Hometown Airline™, but Orlando is our 'home away from home'," said Dave Barger, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue Airways. "Orlando is home to our state-of-the-art training facility, JetBlue University, so it is only fitting to have our second contact center housed here. Over the next five years, we will welcome 500 new crewmembers to JetBlue to support our contact center needs."

"JetBlue is a longtime contributor to our community and regional economy. They are well-known for their commitment to innovation, technology and discovery as a means of propelling JetBlue's success," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. "We are delighted to congratulate JetBlue on the opening of its Orlando-based customer contact center, and the 500 jobs to be created over the next five years, and the good fit with Central Florida's workforce. JetBlue's investment is further evidence of the economic growth we are continuing to experience in Orange County."

"Orlando is a truly international city with a reputation for being the customer service capital of the world," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "These attributes, plus the fact that Orlando is already home of JetBlue University, make the City of Orlando the perfect fit for JetBlue's newest customer contact center."

The first class of 25 new crewmembers recently completed training and began taking customer calls November 3. By 2018, JetBlue plans to have 500 customer support crewmembers working in the Orlando area. The majority of JetBlue contact center crewmembers work from home, with leadership, support desk and training centrally located at JetBlue University. The Orlando location will serve as a bilingual call center, providing service to customers in both English and Spanish initially.

"Orlando International Airport is proud to see one of our largest carriers continue their dedication to supporting their customers as well as the Central Florida community," said Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director Phil Brown. "JetBlue's investment in providing bi-lingual service will also benefit the region's growing access to domestic and international markets."

"As a growing airline, it was important for us to add an additional contact center to help support our call volume. As we continue to grow in Latin America and the Caribbean, our bilingual contact center will be able to meet the needs of both English- and Spanish-speaking customers," said Frankie Littleford, JetBlue's vice president, customer support. "Our home-based, flexible schedule model has worked extremely well in our Salt Lake City contact center. We will use a similar approach in Orlando. This model ensures we have eager, contented people representing JetBlue, and the cost to run our reservations function is dramatically lower than other airlines, because we don't have to build and maintain large reservation centers."

JetBlue currently employs nearly 1,400 crewmembers in Central Florida at its Orlando support center, JetBlue University, Orlando International Airport and LiveTV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue.

JetBlue's Salt Lake City office is home to the airline's main customer support and reservations group. This center houses 200 in-house crewmembers and more than 1,800 work-from-home agents. This team handles all 1-800-JETBLUE calls and provides 24/7 customer support via social media, email and jetblue.com. The Orlando center will handle bilingual sales and service, and provide additional support during peak hours of operation.

JetBlue's unique "home-sourced" employment model is environmentally- and wallet-friendly. Crewmembers will complete training at JetBlue University, and post-graduation, they will work from home, saving commuting costs and reducing their carbon footprint. JetBlue provides agents with the tools necessary for their jobs including a phone, computer and monitor. Crewmembers must reside within a 60-mile radius of the call center in case they experience technical difficulties and must work from the support center. To ensure crewmembers feel part of a team, monthly meetings will be held in the support center.

Orlando is one of JetBlue's six focus cities. The contact center will be located on the third floor of JetBlue's Orlando support center which also houses JetBlue University, the airline's state-of-the-art training facility where new crewmembers attend orientation. This facility opened in 2005. Frontline crewmembers, including pilots and flight attendants, attend training at JetBlue University before they step into uniforms and out into the airport environment.

Available jobs at JetBlue and the Orlando contact center are listed at jetblue.com/workhere.

About JetBlue Airways

As New York's Hometown Airline™ and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando and San Juan, JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 80 cities in the US, Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. JetBlue's fleet totals 191 aircraft, comprising 130 Airbus A320s, 1 A321 and 60 Embraer 190s. Upcoming destinations include Detroit, Mich.; Savannah, Ga.; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Lima, Peru, subject to receipt of government approval. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.

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