A decade after founding JetBlue Airways David Neeleman will not be standing for re-election as Chairman of the carrier’s board in May.

Current JetBlue CEO Dave Barger took over that role from Neeleman in May 2007 following an operational meltdown at JFK in February of that year that left hundreds of passengers stranded on aircraft for several hours.

Neeleman plan to focus his attention on a new Brazilian startup airline he aims to launch in 2009. The unnamed entity recently placed an order for 36 Embraer E-195s.

The entrepreneur has already raised $150 million finance the carrier, $20 million higher than the $130 million Neeleman collected to finance JetBlue in 1998. At that time the carrier was the highest funded-startup in history.

“I want to thank JetBlue crewmembers for making the last ten years great ones,” says Neeleman, “My decision not to stand for re-election will allow me to focus my attention on my new Brazilian venture."

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Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International