The New York-based airline JetBlue wanted to pay homage to the first responders fighting on the front lines of the covid-19 pandemic. Instead, it created a public relations blunder.

On Thursday, JetBlue planned to fly three planes approximately 2,000 feet above New York City. The aircraft with NYC-inspired decals on the tails, intended to “salute” health-care workers, law enforcement and firefighters as part of a citywide initiative, Clap Because We Care, and the company’s own Healthcare Hero promotion.

However, many New Yorkers roasted the airline’s plan as a poorly-conceived concept that failed to take into account the city’s history with terrorism.

During the Sept. 11 attacks, two hijacked, low-flying planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil killed 2,753 people in New York alone. With this context, many people took to social media to lambaste JetBlue’s symbolic gesture.

On Thursday morning, the airline tweeted a reminder of the flyover and received engagement from several users who appreciated the gesture but many others who frequently used the terms “terrible idea” or “bad idea” in responses. On Twitter one user sarcastically wrote: “jetBlue to put anxious New Yorkers at ease by flying passenger jets low over Manhattan.”

When contacted by The Post about the backlash the company received, JetBlue released a statement that read in part: “Safety is our top priority at JetBlue with tonight’s flyover. We worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control to coordinate this special event. Both the FAA and JetBlue have approved the flight levels and altitude of these three flights, and they will be under ATC control and communication at all times. This is happening at no cost — the fuel as well as carbon offsets have been donated.”

In its statement, JetBlue did not directly address the widespread criticism.

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