JetBlue Announces Plans To Help Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

JetBlue Plane At John F. Kennedy International Airport
Getty Images | Allison Joyce

It’s been a little over a week since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, but the island is still dealing with the aftermath. According to CNN, 97 percent of people are still without power and half of the residents do not have running water. The people of Puerto Rico are struggling and JetBlue is stepping in to help.

The airline launched a relief initiative called 100X35JetBlue. The title references both the size of the island (Puerto Rico is 100 miles long by 35 miles wide) and the fact that JetBlue plans to launch 35 different relief efforts in the next 100 days.

Their goal is to help the area in the short-term to get them up and running again, but to also impact Puerto Rico in the long-run.

“The heartbreaking and devastating situation in Puerto Rico compels us to take action,” said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer of JetBlue in a press release. “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.”

hurricane maria photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

Short-Term Plans

Currently, six JetBlue flights are coming in and out of Puerto Rico a day carrying customers and delivering supplies.

According to the press release, JetBlue has already donated $1 million worth of supplies and helped to deliver over 100,000 pounds of much-needed items to the island.

JetBlue will offer discounted rates to and from Puerto Rico through Nov. 15, and passengers will be encouraged to donate to JetBlue’s Global Giving campaign on every flight. For every $1 donated, JetBlue will match it for up to $500,000 through Nov. 15, as well. The money raised will go to non-profit organizations making an impact in the most affected areas.

hurricane maria photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

Long-Term Plans

The press release states that the airline is pledging to help to replenish vegetation on the island, provide support for children through the holiday season as well as offering advertising space to promote Puerto Rican tourism.

These sound like lofty goals when simply stated, but not to worry, JetBlue seems to already have a detailed plan of the 35 ways in which they plan to help through the next 100 days and beyond.

The categories are divided into sections including relief pricing, unmet needs and rebuilding efforts.

hurricane maria photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

Here’s a sampling of the list:

Rebuilding efforts

  • Providing grants from the JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund for crewmembers to repair and rebuild their homes
  • Providing protected time off to allow impacted crewmembers to attend to personal needs
  • Supporting the replenishment of vegetation
  • Supporting the rebuilding of airport facilities
  • Providing education grants via the JetBlue Foundation
  • Donating advertising space to promote tourism to Puerto Rico
  • Developing a long-term plan for supporting the Puerto Rican community and fostering economic growth

You can find the full list of 35 steps on JetBlue’s website.

Other Airlines Step Up

Other airlines have also stepped up to the plate to help with disaster relief this hurricane season. Southwest Airlines worked to make sure displaced animals had a place to go after Hurricane Harvey and United Airlines was matching donations up to $100,000 after Irma hit Florida.

However, JetBlue’s plans to extend relief efforts beyond just raising money and towards rebuilding Puerto Rico for a better future really do take their relief efforts to the next level.

If you’d like to help support what JetBlue plans to do for Puerto Rico, you can donate to their efforts here.

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Augusta Statz
I have a B.F.A. in Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I’m an avid writer with a genuine sense of curiosity. I feel the best way to absorb the world around you is through fashion, art and food, so that’s what I spend most of my time writing about.

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