EXTREME COMMUTING: WHEN A 10-HOUR TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHT IS JUST ANOTHER TRIP TO THE OFFICE
by Miriam Kreinin Souccar / October 1, 2015
A few years back, JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman left his company and launched a new airline in Brazil. The airline, Azul, flies 22 million people a year, employs 12,000, and is the fastest-growing carrier in the region.
You’d think running such a large, complex operation would require a move to South America. But Neeleman commutes to his Sao Paulo headquarters every week from his home in Connecticut, taking the 10-hour redeye on Sunday nights and returning on Thursdays. This way, he says, he doesn’t have to uproot his family of 10 kids.
“My wife wasn’t so interested in moving,” said Neeleman, who recently bought TAP
, Portugal’s national airline and is now commuting there as well. “We had all these kids playing [American] football and lacrosse. They don’t have those sports in Brazil.”
“Relocation is a problem for people,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute in New York, which is currently studying this issue. “Men in particular, are putting more value on being a good parent, not just a provider, and in some sense that might mean not moving their kids.”
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