JetBlue Airways is the name selected by New York-based US start-up New Air, formed by Morris Air founder David Neeleman.

Backing worth $125 million in capital is coming from US-based entrepreneur George Soros, through his company Private Equity Partners Fund, and Weston Presidio Capital and Chase Capital Partners. The airline aims to launch low-fare, high-frequency domestic services from New York's Kennedy Airport early next year.

In April, JetBlue concluded a $4 billion deal for up to 75 Airbus A320 family aircraft, including 25 firm orders. The deal includes the lease of seven A320s. JetBlue plans to serve up to 12 cities with 10 aircraft by the end of its first year. The 50 optioned A320s will be delivered between 2003 and 2007.

The airline is the launch customer for LiveTV, a joint venture between Harris and Sextant In-Flight Systems, which will provide 24 channels of broadcast satellite television. JetBlue will announce initial routes this year, but target destinations include 44 points in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Florida.

Source: Flight International