New JetBlue Technology Ventures to develop travel innovations

JetBlue has launched JetBlue Technology Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary which the airline says will “invest in, incubate and partner with early stage startups at the intersection of technology, travel and hospitality”.

JetBlue Technology Ventures will operate from the GSVlabs campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. It will operate by partnering with incubators, venture capital firms, universities and other organisations inside and outside Silicon Valley, JetBlue Technology Ventures will build relationships with a range of startups across the travel and hospitality spectrum. The initiative will serve as a launch pad for innovations that improve customer and crewmember experiences, increase the airline’s operational efficiency and expand the JetBlue brand to new markets.

Bonny Simi will serve as president of JetBlue Technology Ventures, reporting to Eash Sundaram, executive vice-president and chief information officer of JetBlue. As head of the subsidiary’s oversight/advisory committee, Sundaram will lead and shape its strategic direction, and will also facilitate integration of successful startup programmes into JetBlue’s overall corporate innovation and technology initiatives.

Simi is a JetBlue pilot and officer with over a decade of leadership experience holding talent, customer experience and other roles within the airline, and over 25 years in the airline industry. Simi also has deep roots in the Silicon Valley community as a graduate of both the Stanford Business and Engineering schools.

“Innovation has always been part of JetBlue’s DNA, and JetBlue Technology Ventures builds on our history of staying a step ahead of the status quo,” explained Simi. “We will be casting a wide net to find technologies across the travel spectrum that further the award-winning customer-focused experience we are known for.

“The work being done today in the startup community will define travel for years to come,” Simi continued. “We can offer our knowledge and resources to bring early-stage ideas to life. We won’t limit our thinking to traditional airline operations, and instead consider possibilities at every stage in the travel experience.”

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