MIAMI — Ravaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017, Puerto Rico’s marine ecosystem is getting some much needed TLC from eco-conscious budget airline JetBlue.
The New York-based carrier launched its latest Puerto Rico-related project 100×35 JetBlue— 35 initiatives in 100 days and beyond—in early 2018, aimed at supporting rebuild efforts post-Maria and coined after the island’s famous 100×35 mile size.
Continuing in this legacy of compassion, the little airline with the big heart is making a splash in La Isla Del Encanto by partnering with The Ocean Foundation to help restore seagrass and mangrove habitats at Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve by providing hands-on work as well as financial backing.
“In the aftermath of the hurricanes, our crewmembers rose to the challenge of truly caring for one another and our customers in incredible ways,” said Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue, in a statement last year.
“As Puerto Rico’s largest airline, we have an ability – and a responsibility – to play a significant role in rebuilding the economy by supporting the return of tourism.”
The end-goal is to drive back tourism and boost the island’s economy to its original glory prior to the devastation of lives, infrastructure and environment left behind by the hurricanes, further impeded by long delays in relief assistance by the U.S. government.
No stranger to altruism, the company prides itself on advocating for an array of humanitarian causes like LGBTQ rights, climate-risk management, and corporate sustainability strategies as well as donating to a variety of community, youth, and educational charities.
Since Hurricane Maria, the airline has operated over 450 special relief flights, provided over a thousand seats to island emergency personnel and relief workers, sent over 1.5 million pounds of relief supplies and a $1 million dollar contribution among other recovery efforts.
“We know that Puerto Rico has a bright future, and we pledge to stand alongside the community as the island recovers and thrives,” added Hayes.