Market Overview

JetBlue to Review Flight Procedures After Pilot Sees Red

It was revealed on Wednesday that the CEO of JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) has said that he personally knows the pilot who flew into a rage in the air.

According to Reuters, there was no sign of any problems prior to the incident, with CEO David Barger saying that Captain Clayton Osbon was the “consummate professional.”

Still, the incident was nothing short of a PR disaster, and it could have been much worse. 135 passengers were on the flight from New York to Las Vegas when melted down, ranting about Israel, Iran and other things.

"The captain's now in the hands of medical care, obviously, under the custody of the FBI," Barger said told NBC's "Today" program.

"I've known the captain personally for a long period of time and there's been no indication of this at all," Barger said, adding that the pilot was a "consummate professional."

Barger has said that JetBlue will take a long, hard look at the company's procedures, which proved to be woefully unremarkable during Osbon's rage.

The restraints on board did not work properly, so the pilot had to be held down by passengers and tied with seatbelt extenders.

The pilot's rage was exacerbated when, after leaving the cockpit, he was locked out by his copilot.

At J.P. Morgan's Aviation, Transportation and Defense Conference on March 13, Barger said that there is a very good game plan in place at JBLU. Whether it's the new deliveries; whether it's working with certainly the business partners such as MTU for the IAE motor; whether it's working with several different partners right now as it i looking at motor maintenance with the CF34, the flight hour agreement with Pratt that is tied into the neo order as well, JetBlue thinks that there is some very good work that is taking place.

“But we did want to be transparent; this has been a challenge for the company, certainly in the mid-2000s.You can see the spike that we are going to see in 2012 but also the flattening and some good work that is taking place.”

One thing is certain – JBLU will have to be transparent when restructuring the flight procedures in case of an emergency if it wants to repair the damage done to its image by this latest incident.

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