NEW YORK, May 6, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- JetBlue founder David Neeleman's Brazilian domestic airline may seem vaguely familiar to American travelers. The airline will have a fleet of brand-new aircraft, all with ultra-leather seats and inflight satellite TV. And now the airline even has a name: Azul (Portuguese for Blue).

In announcing plans for the new venture a month ago, Mr. Neeleman announced a contest for the Brazilian traveling public to name the airline via the website www.voceescolhe.com.br (Portuguese for "you choose"). Since then, more than 157,000 entries were submitted by some 108,000 people. His team selected 10 names from the list for a final vote, which narrowed the lead entries to two names: Azul and Samba.

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

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

"Azul is a metaphor for security, serenity, loyalty, and quality -- as well as connoting flight, as the color of the sky. But we want our company to define the name, not have the name define our company," said Mr. Neeleman, Azul's Chief Executive Officer. "Within a year, after thousands of customers will have flown our new airline, Azul is going to signify something really special -- a new and better way to fly.

"We're looking forward to keeping an ongoing dialogue with our customers and naming the airline was just the first milestone in creating that relationship. We're excited to continue engaging our customers' opinions as we create further aspects of our product and service."

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras, SA plans to commence service in January 2009 and has ordered a fleet of 76 Embraer jets. The new airline proposes to bypass congested hubs offering point-to-point service with exceptional quality and lower prices. Azul's Embraer 195 aircraft will be equipped with 118 ultra-leather seats in a comfortable 2 by 2 configuration. In addition, these state-of-the-art aircraft are configured with the latest technology including dual heads up display, offering a new standard of operational safety. The new company also will be the first in Latin America to install LiveTV, providing live TV inflight via satellite.

For David Neeleman
Gareth Edmondson-Jones
gejink@gmail.com