Saving the ‘Hometown’ Airline

Congratulations to everyone involved in keeping the headquarters of JetBlue Airways in Queens. At a time when it seemed there was nothing but bad news coming from Albany and City Hall, this was an amazing accomplishment. The decision by JetBlue executives to stay here rather than relocate to Florida will save more than 800 jobs.

The company opened in New York City 10 years ago, promising it would help increase tourism in the Big Apple. Tourism has grown despite the tough economic times. In turn, JetBlue has enjoyed profitability while other well-established airlines teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.

JetBlue recently announced it will move its headquarters from Forest Hills to new office space in Long Island City. The move will save 880 existing jobs and the airline will relocate 70 staff members from Darien, Conn.

Keeping the airline here did not come cheap. It was offered $30 million in subsidies and tax breaks. But that is a good investment. This company will continue to generate tax revenues for the city and state while putting food on the table for Queens families.

The airline was saved by the kind of pro-business thinking that will benefit city families. We have grown weary of hearing the city cannot compete with America’s South. The deal keeping JetBlue in Queens shows what can be done.

Hysteria Rules the Day

We are certain we are not alone in our frustration with the near hysteria surrounding the health-care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama. We are hopeful it will improve access to health care, but that remains to be seen.

We are also concerned most of the people who voted for or against the health-care package never read its more than 2,700 pages, including most of the members of Congress representing the New York City area. Correct us if we are wrong. We are likewise concerned that the controversy has split the nation along partisan lines.

The bottom line is the sky is not falling. Queens and the rest of America will have the chance now to see if this legislation improves the nation’s health care.

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