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Jet Blue CEO David Neeleman to Speak at Northwestern March 30

David Neeleman, founder and chief executive officer of JetBlue Airways, will deliver a talk at Northwestern University.

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March 27, 2007 | by Megan Fellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- At 10 a.m. Friday, March 30, David Neeleman, founder and chief executive officer of JetBlue Airways, will deliver a talk at Northwestern University.

Neeleman's discussion of the challenges of running a major airline and satisfying customers' expectations will take place in the Owen L. Coon Forum in the Donald P. Jacobs Kellogg Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, on the University's Evanston campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow at the Transportation Center, Chambers Hall, 600 Foster Street.

Neeleman has been CEO and a member of JetBlue Airway's board of directors since August 1998. JetBlue, which first took to the air in February 2000, is now the eighth largest U.S. airline. It has focused on creating a new airline category -- an airline that offers value, service and style. Based in New York City, the low-cost carrier, currently serves 50 destinations with more than 550 flights daily. 

Neeleman began in the air industry as founder and president of Morris Air, the first airline to offer electronic ticketing. By the time he sold Morris to Southwest Airlines in 1993, he had proved that innovative, high-quality airline service coupled with low fares could attract a strong, loyal market.

After selling Morris Air, Neeleman helped to launch WestJet, a Canadian low-fare carrier. From 1995 to 1998, he served as chief executive officer of Open Skies, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard.

In 2003 Neeleman delivered the annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture at Northwestern.

The event is sponsored by the Northwestern University Transportation Society, a student group for those interested in transportation and logistics, and the Icarus Society, an aviation interest group of the University's Transportation Center.