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This week, JetBlue Airways introduced a very special aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): an Airbus A320 dedicated to the men and women who serve in the New York Police Department.
The royal-blue plane prominently features the NYPD flag on its tail. The flag’s five stripes represent New York’s five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island). The 24 stars represent the cities and towns that eventually became a part of New York, including New York City itself. The Airbus A320-200, registered N531JL, was built in 2001, and formerly flew with Air Berlin. JetBlue has flown it since 2010, prior to receiving its special livery.
During the aircraft dedication, JetBlue held its eighth-annual JFK Plane Pull. The event consisted of 23 teams competing to to pull the nearly 94,000-pound aircraft 100 feet in the shortest time. The event was held to raise funds for the J-A-C-K Foundation, which supports children and families who wish to undertake innovative or experimental (clinical trials) and treatments for Neuroblastoma. Last year’s Plane Pull raised $123,000.
Participating teams included the NYPD, the “Bobbies” of the London Metropolitan Police Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, TSA, British Airways and JetBlue team members.
Unfortunately, it’s not one of JetBlue’s Airbus A321s with the outstanding transcontinental Mint service, but you should be able to find “Blue Finest” making the rounds across the JetBlue system, including frequent visits to NYC, thanks to JetBlue’s hub at JFK.
JetBlue has two other special-liveried planes to honor those who have dedicated their lives and careers to service. “Blue Bravest” is for the New York Fire Department, and “Vets in Blue” is for Military Veterans.
In addition to these planes that are dedicated to civil service, JetBlue also has several aircraft (below) that are sure to catch the avgeek eye:
This plane, known as “Bluemanity” is dedicated to JetBlue Crewmembers.
JetBlue’s “Retrojet” is very cool, in spite of the fact that JetBlue never flew other planes that looked like this. It was introduced in November, 2016. It harkens back to the early days of jet aviation, featuring the popular blue and yellow combinations we currently see on United and Lufthansa.
“BluePrint” was introduced in February of this year, and is the airline’s first special livery on an aircraft that isn’t an Airbus A320. This one’s an Embraer 190. It shows what people might see under the skin of the plane.
In 2014, JetBlue introduced an A320 dedicated to its partnership with ViaSat, which provides the airline’s “Exede” Wi-Fi. Since that time, JetBlue has become the only US airline to offer free Wi-Fi on each flight to every passenger. The binary code on the plane translates to “Connected to Blue.” If you haven’t noticed, many JetBlue aircraft have a name with “Blue” in its title.
JetBlue also has two A320s painted for the teams for which it is the airline sponsor; the NFL’s New York Jets (above), and MLB’s Boston Red Sox (below).
The special livery Boston Red Sox dedication came in 2012. Coincidentally, the Sox won the World Series the next year, so maybe a specially painted plane was all they needed.
No matter how many special liveries an airline operates, it’s great that it does things to get attention from the most vocal aviation fans — the avgeeks — in addition to the base of its most dedicated frequent flyers.
All photos courtesy of JetBlue, unless otherwise noted.
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