JetBlue’s Founder Just Registered a New U.S. Airline — And Appears to Be Hiring

Dave Neeleman founded JetBlue after his non-compete from Southwest’s acquisition of Morris Air where he was CEO expired. During that non-compete period he was involved in the launch of Canada’s WestJet.

A citizen of Brazil as well as the U.S. (and also now of Cyprus), Neeleman launched Brazilian carrier Azul after being forced out at JetBlue. He’s also a partner in Star Alliance carrier TAP Air Portugal.

And it looks like he’s coming back to the United States, having registered “Azura Airways Corp. in Connecticut” on July 13th.

Neeleman is listed in the Azura registration as a company principal along with James Smith, a former American Airlines executive, and Azul aircraft programs director Amir Nasruddin.

On Monday, Azura appeared to have taken down its webpage But both the CAPA Centre for Aviation and Airline Weekly reported that last week the page was advertising for airline employees.

Registering Azura doesn’t mean that will ultimately be the carrier’s name. JetBlue was initially formed as ‘New Air’. He wanted to call the carrier ‘Blue’ but blue alone couldn’t be trademarked. Azul, of course, is Spanish and Portuguese for blue.

The brief existence of a website however adds credence to the idea that it could be the carrier’s eventual name.

Azura was the daughter of Adam and Eve, and is also a Marvel Comics character, as well as Queen of the Witch People in Flash Gordon.

Regardless of the inspiration, Neeleman is a successful industry veteran and more competition in the industry is sorely needed.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. New entrants are welcome but in the foreseeable future won’t provide relief to consumers from the Big3 oligopoly. A single new entrant will lack sufficient scale and scope to add a significant amount of competition to the domestic airline market.

  2. AZura International includes an air freight and logistics branch. Perhaps just a conflict easier to resolve now than later?

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