David Neeleman

Making Flying Human Again

The airline business is so tough, the saying goes, that the only way to make a million bucks is to start with 10 times that. David Neeleman began JetBlue Airways in 2000 with an unprecedented $130 million. Launching a customer-oriented, low-fare airline on the cusp of what turned into the greatest crisis in U.S. aviation history was fortunate: this year JetBlue will become the first low-cost airline since deregulation in 1978 to so quickly become a major carrier, with more than $1 billion in revenues.

With a top-class product (new airplanes, leather seats and live TVs on board), JetBlue challenged the...

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