Flights between two of the nation's biggest cities are big business for airlines like JetBlue, which offers the service five times daily. But profits didn't keep JetBlue Chief Operating Officer Rob Maruster from saying that he thinks there are better ways to travel between Boston and New York City, according to TriplePundit.

Speaking at an aviation conference, Maruster reportedly startled the crowd with this seemingly self-injurious statement.

"I may be shooting ourselves in the foot here, with five daily flights from JFK to Boston. But it just may not make that much sense for an airplane on a 150-mile route to fly over 300 air miles to get there. Maybe there’s a different mode of transportation that may be better to carry those customers from point A to point B."

Maruster said he'd like to see transportation officials work on a 20- or 30-year vision that would unite airplanes, trains and other modes of transportation for fast and economical regional travel.

So was the COO saying it's a wasteful practice, when plenty of other options are available? Not necessarily — but it may indicate a shift in the thinking of the company's executives.

TriplePundit notes that such shuttle trips don't make airlines as much money as they used to, so they're offered more as an incentive for customers to stick to a particular airline when they take more lucrative international flights.

While the aviation industry has pledged to cut carbon output to 50 percebt below 2005 levels by 2050 and work on greener airplanes is underway, little tangible action is being taken right now as airlines struggle with skyrocketing fuel prices, volcanic eruptions and the recession.

JetBlue: Flights from NYC to Boston aren't the best option
Airline's COO says there should be a way to merge train, plane and alternative transportation options for fast and economical regional travel.