updated 3/27/2008 9:57:30 AM ET 2008-03-27T13:57:30

The founder of JetBlue Airways says he will launch a new Brazilian airline that’s expected to start operating in 2009.

JetBlue chairman David Neeleman told reporters Thursday that Latin America’s largest nation has a growing passenger travel market dominated by two airlines that face little competition and charge high prices.

Neeleman says his new venture has no connection to JetBlue Airways Corp., but some former JetBlue executives will join the venture. The new airline doesn’t have a name yet.

The new carrier will start with three jets and eventually grow to a fleet of 72 planes. It will use mid-size jets made by Brazil’s Empresa Brasileira de Aeronatica SA.

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