JetBlue founder selects Salt Lake as headquarters for new airline

Photo courtesy JetBlue

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The founder of JetBlue has announced Salt Lake City as the headquarters of his new airline, officials said.

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced Tuesday morning in a news release that Salt Lake will house the corporate headquarters of Breeze Aviation, a new company with plans to create 369 jobs in the next five years.

“Breeze Aviation’s headquarters operation will be a welcome addition to Utah’s growing aerospace industry,” said Val Hale, GOED executive director. “We’re excited to partner with an experienced team with such an outstanding track record.”

Breeze Aviation is founded by David Neeleman, who previously co-founded JetBlue, Morris Air (later sold to Southwest), WestJet, and Azul Brazilian Airlines.

Breeze Aviation plans to unveil an as-yet-unnamed low-cost carrier in the new year which will provide flyers with non-stop service from secondary airports, the news release said.

“We’re excited to announce our investment to make Utah our headquarters,” said  Neeleman, who is the CEO of Breeze Aviation. “Utah’s exceptional workforce and business environment will ensure that we have all the support needed to provide exceptional customer service for our new startup.”

Breeze Aviation may earn up to 20% of the new state taxes it will pay over the five-year life of the agreement in the form of a Utah Legislature-authorized Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax rebate, the news release said. The GOED Board has approved a post-performance tax rebate not to exceed $1,082,000. Each year the company meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the total tax rebate.

“We have long recognized the potential our regional airports hold for economic growth,” said Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of EDCUtah. “We welcome Breeze Aviation to consider service to any of the many great airports that the state of Utah offers.”

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