David Neeleman Net Worth: How Rich Is JetBlue Founder

Most of you have heard, and some of you have flown with JetBlue, Westjet, Azul Brazilian Airlines, or Breeze Airways, and they all have someone in common – David Neeleman founded all. Today we’ll discuss David Neeleman, touch upon his business deals, investments, his family life, and of course, his massive net worth of over $400 million.

david neeleman net worth illustration
David Neeleman Net Worth
NameDavid G Neeleman
Birthday16 October 1959
PartnerVicki Vranes (divorced)
ParentsGary Neeleman, Rose Neeleman
SiblingsStephen Neeleman, Lisa Wilson, Mark James Neeleman
NationalityBrazilian, American, Cypriot
ProfessionBusinessman, Real Estate Investor, Venture capitalist
Net Worth $400 million

So, How Much Is David Neeleman’s Net Worth?

David Neeleman has a net worth of over $400 million. He is known as the Steve Jobs of the airline industry, as during his career, he founded several successful commercial airline companies.

David Neeleman seems to have the golden touch of starting companies, as all of his startups have been massive successes. He is the founder of Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue Airways, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Breeze Airways, and a part-owner of TAP Air Portugal.

David Neeleman’s Early Life

David Neeleman was born on 16 October 1959 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His father is Gary Neeleman, and his mother is Rose Neeleman, both of whom are authors. David has brothers Stephen Neeleman and Mark James Neeleman and a sister Lisa Wilson.

He and his family lived in Sao Paulo until he was five when the family moved to Utah, USA. David was diagnosed with ADHD when he was a child, and he found school difficult. 

Still, he finished high school at Brighton High School and enrolled at the University of Utah. However, he dropped out after three years to pursue other interests. He founded his first company, Morris Air, while in his 20’s.

David’s brother Steven Neeleman is one of the founders of HealthEquity, his other brother Mark James Neeleman helped him create Azul Brazilian Airlines. His sister Lisa is the mother of famous New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.

David Neeleman’s Personal Life

David Neeleman married Vicki Vranes in 1980, but the couple divorced in 2013. They have nine children together. David Neeleman keeps his private life under wraps and has not disclosed if he’s dating anyone at this time. He lives in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Career: How Much Money Does David Neeleman Make?

David Neeleman is a veritable Midas for success in the airline industry. He founded Morris Air in 1984, a low-fare charter airline, working as the company’s vice president and later as president. Morris Air was a huge success and sold to Southwest Airlines for $130 million in 1993, earning David a whopping $25 million from the sale.

David later became the CEO of Open Skies, a touch-screen airline reservation and check-in system sold to HP in 1999. He was involved in WestJet in 1998 and founded JetBlue simultaneously, and JetBlue became one of the most popular low-cost airlines in the USA. 

However, due to the severe winter storms in 2007, the company suffered massive losses, and David Neeleman was replaced as CEO of JetBlue and later as a board member when he left the company.

He announced the launch of a new airline, Azul, in Brazil, and he realized his plans in 2013, with Azul becoming the third-largest airline in Brazil. In 2017, David Neeleman became a citizen of Cyprus, adding it to his Brazilian and American citizenship.

David Neeleman saw another investment opportunity, buying shares in TAP Air Portugal, the Portuguese national air carrier. However, David announced a new US airline in 2018 called Breeze Airways.

Breeze Airways ordered 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft to be delivered by 2021. Breeze Airways, helmed by David Neeleman, now operates with 15 aircraft and plans on expanding.

Overall, David Neeleman makes a lot of money by investing smartly and always having a stock share in each of his companies. 

Final Word: Is David Neeleman a Millionaire?

Yes, David Neeleman is a millionaire with a net worth well over $400 million. He made his fortune by founding low cost airline companies and has profited from the sales of the shares and selling the companies. He lives a comfortable life in New Canaan, Connecticut, and currently serves as the CEO of Breeze Airways.

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