Long Island City-based JetBlue and United Airlines are offering free round-trip flights for medical volunteers traveling to New York City to join the front line in the battle against COVID-19.
As the city faces an unprecedented strain on its healthcare system, Mayor Bill de Blasio put out the call for healthcare professionals from around the country to join the fight and called on the federal government to institute an essential draft of all private medical personnel.
“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and right now they need reinforcements to save as many lives as they can,” de Blasio said. “I am calling on all medical professionals from across the country to come to New York City and help us win this fight. This invaluable partnership with JetBlue and United Airlines will ensure we can provide transportation to these fearless warriors at no additional cost.”
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and New York City Emergency Management will work closely with JetBlue, United Airlines and other carriers to coordinate travel for medical professionals who are selected to provide their services in the city’s time of need.
“As New York’s hometown airline, we are honored to be able to help right in our own backyard. We are honored to provide critical travel needs for medical professionals and first responders,” JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geraghty said. “The work of first responders is tireless, and the hours long. For those volunteering to help in areas of need, the last thing they need to worry about is how they will get here to answer the call. We applaud the healthcare workers who are helping us get through this challenging time and inspiring humanity along the way.”
JetBlue and United Airlines have already started transporting medical professionals and the numbers will increase in the coming weeks as medical professionals receive their New York City assignments.
“We are profoundly grateful for the extraordinarily talented and selfless individuals who are working around the clock and have an unwavering commitment to support our communities and medical providers at this time of exceptional need,” said Jill Kaplan, president, New York/New Jersey for United Airlines. “It is our hope that providing air travel at no cost will allow additional dedicated volunteers and first responders the ability to reach the tri-state area that has been hit hardest by COVID-19.”