NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - July 02, 2014) - JetBlue Airways (JBLU) today announces a partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans and beaches. JetBlue will provide the Foundation with air travel to help support beach cleanups and conservation work throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.
Nearly 75% of JetBlue's destinations are on or near shorelines that support local economies, often through tourism related to beaches and oceans. JetBlue is a leading airline in the Caribbean offering nonstop service to 25 destinations across the region. The region now makes up one-third of the airline's route network. Therefore, the environmental health and natural appearance of destinations' shorelines have a direct impact on the airline's core business.
"With destinations along the coasts of the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America, many places in which we have active Surfrider Chapter volunteers, JetBlue supports our mission and desire to protect ocean and beach environments," says Laura Lee, the Surfrider Foundation's director of marketing and communications.
"Too often business and media position sustainability and profit against each other," said James Hnat, general counsel, JetBlue Airways. "At JetBlue, we know that part of customer demand for our product is directly tied to the appeal of clean beaches and oceans. They are often the main draw for many destinations. This partnership with the Surfrider Foundation is an example of how a business can protect profit by protecting nature."
JetBlue's sustainability team is focused on connecting revenue and conservation, proving that corporate responsibility pays dividends. The airline recently teamed up with The Ocean Foundation, a Clinton Global Initiative partner, in addition to the Surfrider Foundation, to explore novel approaches to ocean health in the Caribbean.
"Sustainability cannot be 'a nice thing to do,'" said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue Airways. "A company's sustainability plans have to be integral to business in order to change business, or we will all be stuck with the status quo, and increasingly contaminated beaches."
JetBlue is working with The Ocean Foundation to show the economic value of clean beaches by directly tying the importance of nature to the airline's main economic measure -- revenue per available seat mile (RASM). This work will also benefit the Surfrider Foundation as all three organizations have a joint goal of attaching actual dollar values to pristine shorelines. JetBlue ultimately seeks to strengthen business interest in protecting the destinations and ecosystems in the Caribbean. Together with The Ocean Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation, JetBlue is developing a plan to preserve and protect these areas.
About the Surfrider Foundation:
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world's oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit www.surfrider.org.
ABOUT JETBLUE AIRWAYS
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 86 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 850 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, an overnight stay is never required and the first checked bag is free (subject to weight and size limits and exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines). For more information please visit JetBlue.com.