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Bloomberg Opens New JetBlue Headquarters In Long Island City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the opening Wednesday of the new headquarters of JetBlue Airways, located in the historic Brewster Building in Long Island City, Queens.

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Some at the company had urged moving the headquarters to Orlando, but its employees - who are all called crew members - voiced that they were against that idea.

At the opening of the new headquarters, Sen. Charles Schumer said that was a good thing.

"Look what happened when TWA and Pan Am left New York. They went under. I remember when American [Airlines] left New York. Mr. Casey was the head of American, left to go to Dallas. He's bankrupt. When you leave New York, as an airline, something bad happens," said Schumer.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg David Barger
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and JetBlue CEO David Barger hold a model airplane at the company's new headquarters in Long Island City - Queens, NY - Apr 4, 2012 (credit: Edward Reed / Mayor's Office)

"Long Island City is our home. It's part of our heart. It's part of our soul... . I just want to say, on behalf of our 14,000 crew members, thanks for coming out today and thanks for the vision. Thanks for the trust. Thanks for the confidence. We really appreciate it," said JetBlue CEO David Barger.

Bloomberg called it a great day for New York.

"JetBlue has played a huge role in making New York City the nation's number one travel destination," Bloomberg said. "The many reasons why people come to New York as tourists on JetBlue planes also are good reasons why JetBlue is expanding its corporate headquarters here. We couldn't be prouder that JetBlue has cast a major vote of confidence in Long Island City as a great place to do business."

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The new headquarters houses 1,000 JetBlue employees and Barger called it cool, crisp, and forward-leaning.

JetBlue was founded in 1999 as a low-cost airline with JFK Airport as its main base.

The Brewster Building dates back to 1911. It was once where Rolls-Royce cars were assembled. It has now been redesigned to serve a new century of keeping people moving.

Are you pleased JetBlue has set up shop here? Sound off in the comments section below!

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