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Welcome to New York: JetBlue's David Barger

David Barger in Washington, D.C.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Jeremy Hobson:

David Barger: Hey, great to be with you Jeremy, thanks.

Hobson: How has JetBlue experienced the recession so far, and are you feeling a recovery at this point?

Barger: Well we have, and in fact, really a recessionary environment for us is actually less headwinner turbulence than what we would see in a strong economy. Last year in the middle of what I think is now known as the Great Recession, we were profitable in all four quarters.

Hobson: Your father was an airline pilot for United, I read.

Barger: That's correct. Thirty-seven years at Pennsylvania Central, Capital Airlines and then United Airlines. So airlines's in the family, Jeremy.

Hobson: Did you fly with him as a kid?

Barger: I did. I was on the retirement flight from Seattle to Chicago O'Hare. I'll never forget it because there were several of us in the cockpit. It wasn't a very good landing either, and we had a lot of fun with that: Dad's last flight, but the landing was a little bit rocky. But I say that as I'm a little bit in jest and laughing. He had a great career, kind of at the right time. He was always a captain as he was flying over the course of those almost four decades.

Hobson: O.K. let's do a lightning round here, quick questions, quick answers. What is your favorite destination that JetBlue flies to?

Barger: Burlington, Vt.

Hobson: Why do you say that?

Barger: You feel you're really back to nature in a major way. It's great quality of life in Burlington, Vt.

Hobson: JetBlue is famous for having TVs in every seat. Which channel do you find yourself watching most often on a flight?

Barger: There's no doubt about it: the moving map.

Hobson: Is JetBlue ever going to fly to Europe and Asia?

Barger: I've learned to never say never.

Hobson: Have you ever grabbed a beer from the galley and slid down the emergency slide?

Barger: The only toast I've ever taken aboard our aircraft has been the delivery of new airplanes, either out of Toulouse, France with Airbus or our of Sen.Jose down in Brazil with a bottle of champagne, congratulating those who made the delivery possible. So that's the only thing I've ever had aboard our airplanes. I haven't grabbed a beer from the galley.

Hobson: Very diplomatic answer. Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue. Thank you so much for joining us.

Barger: Thanks a lot, Jeremy.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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