Introducing Azul

JetBlue founder David Neeleman’s Brazilian startup will fly under the name Azul, which thanks to my continuing education classes, I know azul means blue in Portuguese and Spanish.

More than 157,000 entries were submitted in an airline naming contest.
Startup staff selected 10 names from the entries for a final vote—sounds like a fun task—which narrowed the lead to two names: Azul and Samba.

Per contest rules, the lucky duck who entered the winning name first will receive two lifetime passes for free travel on the airline. The first 1,000 people to enter the winning selection will receive two free tickets anywhere the airline flies.

While Samba actually received more votes, the team preferred Azul, so the company will honor free tickets to the people who entered both names.

The carrier plans to inaugurate point-to-point service with Embraer jets in January 2009.

Neeleman said last month he would not stand for re-election as chairman of JetBlue to focus on the Azul launch.

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