Founder of JetBlue Poised to Launch New Airline with Providence Hub, Say Reports UPDATED

Thursday, June 21, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

David Bargar, Photo: Flickr, Campus Party Brasil
According to a report in one of the top aviation publications, Providence may be featured in future plans of the new Moxy Airline — the first significant new airline in America in a decade. According to a report in Airline Weekly, Moxy is the brainchild of David Neeleman - the founder of JetBlue. 

“[Moxy] One that promises to make a big impact. One that’s the brainchild, no less, of none other than David Neeleman….Reached over the weekend by Airline Weekly, Neeleman declined to comment. According to the source and the presentation, he plans to launch a new airline that’s for now called Moxy, armed with $100m in startup capital. Some of that money comes from Neeleman’s own pockets. Some comes from former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton and former ILFC CEO Henri Courpron. With a war chest this substantial, Moxy helps ensure it can withstand a likely barrage of defensive measures from incumbents, including capacity and fare wars,” according to the reports.

"The world’s most prolific – and, arguably, successful – founder of pleasantly unconventional airlines is returning home from Brazil to launch his third U.S- and fourth North American-based airline," reported Forbes on Tuesday.

"Serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman walked away – or, depending on whose account of the story you believe, was pushed out – of JetBlue, the most famous and successful of the airlines he has started, back in 2008. But months later he launched a copycat carrier in Brazil called Azul (“blue”  in both Portuguese and Spanish), which today ranks as South America’s third-largest airline," adds Forbes.

Today, the U.S. has 11 major carriers. All 11 were around 10 years ago. And 10 of the 11 were around 20 years ago and all of them are making money.

T.F. Green will be the biggest winner although airport officials aren’t talking.

In the past one-year plus Green has added a half dozen new carriers, international flights and is now one of the fastest growing airports in America.

“But what exactly does Moxy plan to do? According to the presentation, the startup sees big opportunity in smallish airports, detecting consumer frustration with increasingly congested mega-hubs in regions like the U.S. northeast and west coast. Consolidation, it says, has reduced options while creating a “comfortable oligopoly” of carriers with high fares and higher-than ever profits,” reports Airline Weekly.

Bennett, Bargar and Chafee in 2012
JetBlue has a legacy with Green and it is no stranger to Rhode Islanders — Needleman's successor -- David Bargar was successfully lobbied by both then-Governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence Economic Development Director Jim Bennett to bring the airline to RI. The effort was successful. As GoLocalProv first reported in 2012, "Rhode Island officials led by Governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence Economic Development Director Jim Bennett have been courting JetBlue CEO David Barger to bring his high quality, low-cost airline to TF Green airport. GoLocalProv has learned that Rhode Island will be the next airport of choice for JetBlue."

Providence the Hub

De facto, Providence would be the hub, “Moxy seems keen on secondary airports in the country’s biggest metro areas like Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Providence, outside Boston, features prominently as an example in Moxy’s presentation.”

According to the reports, “On a map of prospective routes, it shows Providence flights to Allegiant-like airports in Florida (i.e., Orlando Sanford and St. Petersburg) and California (i.e., Oakland, San Jose, Contra Costa, Orange County, Burbank, Ontario and McClellan-Palomar, north of San Diego). Other dots from Providence include Phoenix Mesa, Rocky Mountain Airport near Denver, Concord near Charlotte, Fort Worth’s Meacham Airport and Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Aside from Providence, other northeast region airports of interest to Moxy include Baltimore, Trenton, Stewart (halfway between New York City and Albany) and Republic Airport in eastern Long Island."

EDITOR'S NOTE -- an earlier version in correctly identified David Needlemen in a photo with Chafee and Bennett, but it was in fact, his successor David Bargar. The article and caption have been corrected. This article was first published 6/20/18 11:34 AM

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