Talk 2 Brazil Guests - David Neeleman Azul Airlines Guest August 31

Talk 2 Brazil Guests - David Neeleman Azul Airlines Guest August 31

David Neeleman
Chairman, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras
David Neeleman started his fourth airline, Azul, in his second home, Brazil.

David was born in Sao Paulo, while his father was Bureau Chief there for Reuters, before moving to Utah as a child. A dual citizen, he’s returned to Brazil many times throughout his life and is very excited about the prospect of changing the way Brazilians travel, giving access to air travel for many who have never had the opportunity.

As Chairman of the new airline, he has ordered 76 brand-new Embraer 195 jets which will be equipped with 118 comfortable ultraleather seats in a 2 by 2 configuration and will be the first in Latin America to offer LiveTV, inflight TV programming via satellite. Azul commenced service in January 2009.

Prior to Azul, David founded JetBlue Airways in New York and spent the last decade as Chief Executive Officer (1998 to 2007) and Chairman (2002 to 2008). An amazing success by any measure, JetBlue was an instant hit with travelers and was the first airline to earn $100 million annually within five years, thus becoming a “major” airline fastest. In the last year, JetBlue was ranked Top Low Cost Airline for Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates and Best Airline by Consumer Reports. It has won Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards for Best U.S. Airline for the last seven years.

David’s career began in 1984 when he co-founded a low-fare carrier called Morris Air with June Morris, the owner of Salt Lake City-based travel agency Morris Travel. As President of Morris Air, David implemented the industry’s first electronic ticketing system and pioneered a home reservation system where calls are handled by reservationists working from their homes.

Following the sale of Morris Air and a short period with Southwest Airlines, David took the electronic ticketing system that he had initiated at Morris Air and developed it into Open Skies, the world’s simplest airline reservation system. David sold Open Skies to Hewlett Packard in 1999. Also during this period, David acted as a consultant to WestJet Airlines, the successful Canadian low-fare start-up airline.

Having already enjoyed a unique career in aviation, David is excited to invest his lifetime’s experience from Morris, Southwest, Open Skies, WestJet, and JetBlue into creating the best airline Brazil has ever seen.

David currently splits his time between Brazil and New Canaan, Connecticut, where he lives with his wife Vicki. They have nine children.

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