JetBlue was founded in 1999 as “NewAir” by David Neeleman, formerly employee of Southwest Airlines.
First Airbus A320 aircraft arrived in early December, 1999.
NewAir started commercial operations in mid-February, 2000, with its inaugural flight between JFK and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
During 2000, new aircraft joined the fleet, and a lot of destinations were added to the network, and by the end of the year, JetBlue flies its one millionth customer, reporting $100 million in flown revenue.
During the downturn in airline travel that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks, JetBlue was one of only a few U.S. airlines that made a profit, with strong financial results throughout the 2002–2004 years.
In March, 2002, JetBlue flies its five millionth customer.
On the 31st of January, 2003, JetBlue reports $54.9 million net income for 2002, and by the end of the year, new aircraft join the fleet, and new destinations are being added.
In early January, 2004, JetBlue announces new in-flight entertainment options to be added: 100 channels of XM Satellite Radio and movie channels featuring 20th Century Fox movies and TV programming.
On the 13th of July, 2004, JetBlue flies its 25 millionth customer.
During 2005, new routes are being added to the network, new planes continue to be delivered, and at the end of the year, online check in, with online baggage check in is being added to the website.
In February 2006, JetBlue announced its first quarterly loss ever, but returned to profitability by January, 2007.
In October 2007, JetBlue was named Best U.S. airline by Condé Nast Traveler readers for the 6th year running.
New destinations continue to be added, and refundable fares are introduced in late January, 2008.
Bogotá, Colombia becomes JetBlue’s first South American destination in late January, 2009, and on the 26th of March, 2009, San José, Costa Rica becomes JetBlue’s first destination in Central America.
In 2010, JetBlue Airways signs interline agreements with EL AL Israel Airlines and South African Airways.
In March 2011, JetBlue Airways begins interline service with a transatlantic leader, Virgin Atlantic.
In June 2011, JetBlue Airways introduced 2 new products and services: Even More Space, replacing Even More Legroom and offering extra legroom and early boarding, and Even More Speed, giving access to expedited airport security.
In November 2012, TrueBlue Mosaic Elite Program, an enhancement to the existing loyalty program, is launched.
In 2012, JetBlue Airways signed interline and codeshare agreements with new or existing partners: Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, and Turkish Airlines.
In February 2013, JetBlue Airways introduced Mobile Boarding Passes along with new iPhone app.
In March 2013, JetBlue Airways announced its 80th BlueCity – Worcester, Massachusetts.
In June 2014, JetBlue introduced Mint, its first premium-class option, on flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco operated with Airbus A321-200 aircraft outfitted with 16 lie-flat seats, four of which are suites. With Mint, JetBlue introduced an alternative to outdated business class offerings.
Starting July 2015, JetBlue began charging for the first checked bag for the lowest class of fares offered, leaving Southwest Airlines the only major U.S. carrier to not charge for bags. However, the cost for the first bag is the lowest in the U.S., besides Frontier Airlines with similar prices.
In November 2015, JetBlue expanded its highly successful Mint service on flights to the Caribbean, from New York (JFK) to Aruba (AUA) and Barbados (BGI), two of its most popular Caribbean routes. Less than one month after launch, Mint service between New York and Barbados, first introduced as seasonal service, was expanded to year-round daily flights.
In 2016, JetBlue continued to expand its highly successful premium service with new Mint routes. The first new Mint routes from Boston, regularly-scheduled flights to San Francisco and seasonal Mint service to Barbados, were launched in March. JetBlue’s further expansion plans will bring its highly successful Mint service for the first time to Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Seattle, while also increasing options from New York (JFK), Boston, Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco. The Winter schedule will bring the Mint expansion in the Caribbean, with seasonal Mint service between New York and Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Maarten, and Between Boston and Aruba.
On August 31, 2016, JetBlue was the first American airline to resume commercial flights to Cuba after more than 50 years of air travel to Cuba limited to charter services. JetBlue operated the first regularly scheduled flight from the U.S., Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport, to Cuba, Santa Clara – Abel Santamaría Airport.
In 2016, JetBlue founded JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV). The wholly owned subsidiary is the venture capital arm of JetBlue that invests in and partners with early-stage startups at the intersection of travel and technology. As of 2018, JTV has invested in 21 startups, including hybrid planes, “flying taxis,” and machine learning algorithms.
In 2017, JetBlue announced a new JFK Airport Terminal Project. In 2018, New York officials announced that JetBlue is to develop and operate the 12-gate north terminal, a 111,000m2 extension of JetBlue’s state-of-the-art terminal T5, replacing Terminal 7 and the former Terminal 6 site.
In July 2018, JetBlue placed an order for 60 Airbus A220 300 aircraft, with the option for 60 additional aircraft beginning in 2025. Previously called the Bombardier CS300, the A220 300 aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2020, replacing the Embraer 190 fleet.
In 2019, JetBlue will take delivery of its first A321neo aircraft and will make a decision on the long-range version of the A321, as well as the launch of transatlantic flights.
No deadly incidents involving JetBlue aircraft have been recorded so far.