NEW YORK, NY – JetBlue Airways today revealed ‘Blue Bravest,’ an aircraft honoring the New York City Fire Department and the FDNY Foundation. This special aircraft, adorned with the FDNY shield, will join JetBlue’s fleet flying throughout the airline’s network, currently 79 cities and growing. ‘Blue Bravest’ joins JetBlue’s exclusive legion of partnership aircraft celebrating organizations including the New York Jets, Boston Red Sox and New York State Tourism – I Love New York.
JetBlue is the only major airline actually based in New York. As such, the airline is supportive of its hometown firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. This unique livery will support the FDNY Foundation and showcase JetBlue’s pride for its hometown heroes. The airline supports the FDNY Foundation in its mission to raise awareness and promote fire safety and professional development, training, and education for members of the FDNY.
“We are New York’s Hometown Airline, we not only work here, we live here too,” said Dave Barger, president and CEO of JetBlue Airways. “On a daily basis we see the hard work of firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians who help keep our city safe. We appreciate their dedication and are excited to support our hometown heroes in a very JetBlue way. We’ve substituted our namesake blue and painted this airplane red, a special honor just for the FDNY Foundation.”
Dave Barger and FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano revealed this aircraft to JetBlue crewmembers, friends and family and FDNY personnel on October 23 at JetBlue’s JFK Hangar. The aircraft flew directly to New York from Roswell, N.M. where it received its new makeover. Once in the Big Apple, the plane did a low-altitude fly-by over the Hudson River at sunrise giving New Yorker’s the first glimpse of this aircraft dedicated to the FDNY Foundation.
“JetBlue has shown they are true friends of the Department through their generous support of the FDNY Foundation and active partners in our mission to keep New Yorkers safe from fire,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano. “Now, with this incredible aircraft, JetBlue has created an outstanding tribute to the 15,000 members of the FDNY and the life-saving work they perform every single day.”
The FDNY Foundation is the official non-profit organization of the FDNY and helps bring the vital message of fire safety and prevention to all New Yorkers. It also supports the life-saving work of the FDNY through various programs that provide new equipment, training and support for thousands of firefighters and members of the department’s Emergency Medical Service.
JetBlue has a long history of support for the FDNY and its Foundation. Many firefighters transfer skills learned at the FDNY to jobs with JetBlue. Approximately 250 JetBlue crewmembers are retired FDNY members and are currently enjoying second careers with the airline. In 2011, the FDNY honored Dave Barger with the FDNY Foundation Humanitarian Award, an honor for individuals and corporations that provide support to the New York City Fire Department. Last year, JetBlue executives hosted a leadership meeting at the FDNY training facility on Randall’s Island. Senior leaders participated in the “Firefighter for a Day” program where groups participate in drills, followed by a debrief on how FDNY lessons can apply to business life.
Over the past three years, JetBlue has donated $300,000 in financial support and more than 40 round-trip flights for firefighters to travel to other regions to support their peers in firefighting and related efforts. JetBlue has also provided travel support for firefighters in times of need following Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and wildfires in California in 2007 and Arizona in 2013, among other events.