David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 26, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: What's this? An airline that's actually making money? Shares of JetBlue Airways flying high today. The low-cost start-up reporting its sixth consecutive profitable quarter. There doesn't seem to be much stopping this guy. Joining me now is David Neeleman, the CEO of JetBlue. David, good to have you.

DAVID NEELEMAN, CEO, JETBLUE AIRWAYS (JBLU): Hi, Neil. Wish I was in there with you, but you took the Merck guy over me, I guess.


CAVUTO: Let me ask you something. Business is strikingly good for you in an environment where everyone is saying it is strikingly bad. What is the deal?

NEELEMAN: Well, you know, Neil, from the very beginning, we just thought, you know, we are going to take care of our customers. We're going to take it one flight at a time and try to be a little bit of a different airline by providing great service. And, you know, it has worked for us because our customers keep coming back, and, you know, we are just going to keep doing it. We are very well aware of why we are successful, and we are going to make sure that, you know, we do not mess it up.

CAVUTO: Now, the fact that you saw business improving down the road, and that is something that the Street generally likes to hear, that there is growth — I think your stock was up better than three bucks as a result.

How can that be when you have all of these crepe hangers out there saying the economy is going to go south, that people are tightening their reigns, they are not going to fly? What is going on?

NEELEMAN: Neil, I think in any industry, be it retail or department stores, you know, you have people that do better because they provide better service. You know, Kohl's department store does better than some of the others. So I think you can run a better business in a bad economy. And I think that is what we've really tried to focus on.

You know, I am a really lucky guy because I'm running a company that has what I think is the best coach product in the industry and the lowest cost. And it does not take a genius to figure out that if you have that combination, then people are going to beat a path to your door, they want to fly on you. And when you do, you have better margins.

CAVUTO: You know, there is a large short position in your stock, people who are betting it will go down because it almost looks too blue sky at JetBlue, that there is something we're missing here, something we must not be grasping. There's something you are doing differently than competitors because they are hurting and you're not.

NEELEMAN: You know, I do not follow the short position that much. I do not even really follow the stock price because I know that if we do a good job with our customers and they come back and fly us again — you know, we started in New York two and a half years ago with three flights a day to Ft. Lauderdale. And we're going to have 15, 16 flights a day coming up this winter. That is not smoke and mirrors. You know, it's not hype. That is just satisfied customers that like flying us and come back and fly us again.

And we are doing the same thing to the West Coast. You know, we're five flights a day from New York to Long Beach. And, you know, between the live TVs and the leather seats, our new planes and our great people, it is clearly a better product.

CAVUTO: David, thank you very much. Good seeing you.

NEELEMAN: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: Albeit remotely. All right. David Neeleman of JetBlue.

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