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January 9, 2024

Holy Cross grad to be next JetBlue CEO, as airline inaugurates new Worcester route

A group of people stand in front of a blue background Photo | Courtesy of Massport Joanna Geraghty (middle, in black) attends a 2021 event announcing the return of commercial flights to Worcester Regional Airport after a pandemic-related pause that occurred in October 2020.

An executive with ties to Worcester is set to become the first woman to lead one of the country’s largest airlines, as College of the Holy Cross alumna Joanna Geraghty will become the CEO of JetBlue Airways in February. 

Geraghty, who is currently the company’s president and chief operating officer, will become CEO on Feb. 12, following the retirement of Robin Hayes, who has been JetBlue’s CEO since 2015, according to a press release issued by the New York-based airline on Monday.

She will be the first woman to lead a major U.S. airline.

“With a rigorous succession plan in place, the board and I are confident that Joanna is more than ready given her critical role in running JetBlue’s day-to-day business and positioning the airline for success,” Hayes said in the release. “She guided the operation through the most turbulent time in airline history, has overseen the development and execution of new commercial initiatives, and has tirelessly worked to make JetBlue a better place for our crewmembers and customers.”

The airline, which first began serving Worcester Regional Airport in 2013, on Thursday launched the inaugural flight of twice-weekly nonstop service to Southwest Florida International Airport, which serves the Fort Myers area.

JetBlue is the only airline with multiple nonstop destinations out of Worcester airport. JetBlue operates nonstop flights from Worcester to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, in addition to the new Fort Myers one. It previously offered daily flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, but that route was discontinued in June

Geraghty graduated from Worcester’s College of Holy Cross in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, according to her LinkedIn profile. First joining JetBlue in 2005, Geraghty was named the company’s president and COO in June 2018.

“With a beloved brand, an industry-leading customer experience, a unique culture, and the industry’s best crewmembers, JetBlue has long been a disruptor,” Geraghty said in the press release. “I’m excited to continue working with JetBlue’s 25,000 crewmembers who are as energized as I am about challenging the status quo and bringing humanity to an industry long dominated by the legacy carriers.”

She is also the chairperson of the board for Concern Worldwide, an international not-for-profit organization based in New York focused on ending extreme poverty.

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Peter Russell
January 9, 2024

Guess we won't be seeing any much needed improvement at JetBlue as their descension into one of the worst airlines in the industry has occurred during Ms. Geraghty's 5 years as President and COO.

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