Delta Air executive joins JetBlue

March 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM

NEW YORK, March 20 (UPI) -- JetBlue Airways said Tuesday it hired a former Delta Air Lines executive to be its operations vice president at Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Alex Battaglia, most recently Delta's operations vice president at Kennedy, worked for Delta for 24 years. He will start his new job April 2, the airline said.

The appointment comes more than a month after a Valentine's Day ice storm exposed serious weaknesses in the airline's contingency planning. About 2,500 flights were either canceled or left on the runway for as long as 10 hours last month, with overwhelmed staff and crews not knowing what to do.

Tom Rinow, who previously held the Kennedy operations position, left JetBlue in September, company officials said.

On March 7 the airline named Russell Chew, a former Federal Aviation Administration official, as its chief operating officer.

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