JetBlue’s founder David Neeleman announced that he has raised $150 million and ordered 36 Embraer aircraft to launch an as-yet-unnamed airline in Brazil. Neeleman hopes to get the Sao Paulo-based carrier off the ground in early 2009. If you speak Portuguese, you can check out his site about the airline here. If you do not speak Portuguese, you should find a friend or stranger who speaks Portuguese and ask them to translate.
The new airline will offer the JetBlue frills of free TV and leather seats, while the E-195 aircraft should allow him to make some money flying with fewer people than primary competitor Gol does with their 737s. I imagine the fine (and cash-rich) folks at Gol, who, to be honest, knew this was coming, cannot be happy about this situation.
Gol has changed the face of aviation in Brazil, opening the skies up to lots of people who never flew before. But there’s always room for a better product with a lower cost base, and I’m fairly certain Neeleman can provide that.