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JetBlue Considering Moving Workers From Queens HQ To Florida

JetBlue's lease is up in 2023.

JetBlue has told its employees it is evaluating its office space and may be leaving its headquarters space in Long Island City and shifting some jobs out of state.

The airline told staff in a memo last week that it is considering a “number of paths” regarding what to do when the Queens lease expires in 2023, the New York Post reports. One idea is to send more staff to Florida, where it has a center in Orlando and a location in Fort Lauderdale. However, it may also head to another borough in the city or possibly stay in Queens. 

“Regardless of how we re-balance our footprint between New York and Florida, our commitment to New York remains strong,” the memo said, per the Post. “We now have more leasing options as greater vacancy rates have changed the economics; the role of the office and our space requirements will evolve in a hybrid work environment; and our own financial condition has been impacted by COVID-19.”

A plan will be in place at the end of the year, the company told employees. There are more than 1,300 JetBlue staff in Long Island City, and 7,000 crew members in New York as a whole. The company has plans to grow at both Newark and LaGuardia airports. A company spokesperson told the Post that the company is looking at how to adapt to a “hybrid work environment post-pandemic.”

After considering leaving for Orlando back in 2010, it leased space at the Brewster Building at 27-01 Queens Plaza North, opening the building two years later. JetBlue got $30M in tax breaks to stay in the city, The New York Times reported.

These days, even the suggestion of jobs and companies leaving the state has become a sensitive point for New Yorkers. There have been rumors about Goldman Sachs considering relocating one of its major divisions to Florida, which would follow Blackstone, which just inked a lease in Downtown Miami. Elliott Management is moving its headquarters to Florida, joining billionaire Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises.

Related Topics: JetBlue, Long Island City