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JetBlue moving headquarters to Long Island City

The new JetBlue terminal at Kennedy Airport opened

The new JetBlue terminal at Kennedy Airport opened in October 2008. The Forest Hills-based airline is expected to announce that it will keep its headquarters in New York City. (Oct. 2008) Photo Credit: Getty Images

JetBlue will keep its corporate headquarters in New York City, moving about 1,000 staffers from two area offices to a new location in Long Island City.

The carrier's main office is currently in nearby Forest Hills. It also has a small finance department in Darien, Conn.

The airline had been considering a move out of New York for more than a year and recently narrowed the alternatives to Orlando, the site of its training facility.

Moving to Orlando would have meant a brand adjustment for the carrier, which calls itself "New York's Hometown Airline." JetBlue's first flight took off from John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 11, 2000. It is now the biggest carrier at Kennedy Airport and the seventh-largest in the country. It is the only airline based in New York.

The lease on JetBlue's current headquarters expires in 2012. The Connecticut office's lease runs out next year.

To help convince JetBlue to stay put, New York City offered to invest up to $3 million in the airline's Terminal 5 at Kennedy Airport. The airline in turn said it will create up to 200 new jobs in the city over the next five years. JetBlue and New York State have also agreed to a joint branding deal for the iconic "I Love NY" logo.

"There was a time when New York might have taken such an exercise lightly, relying on the city's reputation to win out," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "But cities across the country and around the world are engaged in an increasingly competitive environment to attract growing companies, and - while we can't always compete on cost - we've worked extremely hard to strengthen and highlight New York City's competitive advantages."


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