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JetBlue launches aid program for Puerto Rico

NEW YORK: October 08, 2017. JetBlue, which normally operates 53 daily flights from three airports in Puerto Rico to the U.S Mainland, has launched a 35-step relief program for the island over the next 100 days.

Acknowledging the reference to Puerto Rico's 100x35 mile size, the effort covers airlift support, relief pricing, awareness and fundraising, people deployment, unmet needs, and rebuilding efforts.

JETBLUE 2The airline has already donated US$1 million in supplies, flown 3,000 customers from San Juan and Aguadilla by September 27, and shipped over 100,000 pounds of aid to the island.

"We've been sending relief supplies to Puerto Rico since the first day flights were allowed onto the island following Hurricane Maria," said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue director of Corporate Social responsibility. "The amount of donated supplies has far exceeded our expectations and has surpassed the capacities of our commercial Airbus A320 fleet," she explained.

A flight donated by Atlas Air has augmented the airline's scheduled capacity by delivering 110 tons to San Juan over the weekend of October 7/8 with Jet Blue responsible for local logistics on the island.

The B747 freighter carried supplies from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to assist in rebuilding the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in San Juan; non-perishable food from the Food Bank For New York City; relief goods from JetBlue staff to their co-workers on the island; and medical supplies from the Afya Foundation and American Red Cross.

"The heartbreaking and devastating situation in Puerto Rico compels us to take action," said JetBlue president and CEO Robin Hayes: "Using our strengths as an airline, our partnerships, and our mission of inspiring humanity, we aim to make a positive impact on this island we call home. We know 100 days is just the start, but we hope it's a start that will make a meaningful difference."

The airline is inviting customers on every JetBlue flight to help reach its US$1 million goal to benefit hurricane- impacted areas throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. The airline, which restored services to St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands on October 05, has committed to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to US$500,000 through November 15.

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