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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Embattled JetBlue kicks out boss
JetBlue plane takes off
A service crisis triggered by storms in February is still hanging over JetBlue
The founder of US low-cost carrier JetBlue has been ousted from his post as chief executive following February's costly service disruption.

The airline's services virtually ground to a halt after a Valentine's Day storm in New York, which left customers and flight crews stranded.

The group said David Neeleman would stay on as non-executive chairman and play a more "strategic role".

Head of operations Dave Barger will take the helm, effective immediately.

The management change comes three months after JetBlue was forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights as a result of snow storms, affecting more than 100,000 people and losing the firm $41m.

More strategic

"The board suggested to David that he could best serve the company in a more strategic role. David agreed," JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said. "The conversation was initiated by the board."

Shares in JetBlue rose 5.96% to $11.01 before midday on the Nasdaq.

Mr Neeleman established no-frills JetBlue Airways in 1998.

Before that, he helped set up the budget airline Morris Air, which operated several routes primarily in the western US and was eventually sold to Southwest Airlines.

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