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JetBlue and American Airlines Advance Strategic Alliance After Regulatory Review

Following a review by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airlines will begin phasing in key elements of the alliance during the first quarter of this year. Initially, the airlines will offer more choices and seamless connectivity from New York and Boston.

JetBlue and American Airlines Advance Strategic Alliance - Courtesy American Airlines

Today (January 12, 2021), JetBlue and American Airlines announced that they will advance their strategic alliance following a successful U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) review. Key aspects of the alliance will be implemented in phases starting in the first quarter and include more seamless connectivity and choices to and from New York (JFK, LGA and EWR) and Boston. Customers flying in and out of New York and Boston will enjoy the ability to book a single itinerary on either carrier’s website, access mutual loyalty benefits and benefit from an improved on-the-ground experience. In Tuesday’s announcement, JetBlue’s Head of Revenue and Planning, Scott Laurence, said,

“Through this alliance, we are one step closer to bringing customers even more competition in the Northeast, especially on routes currently served by only one airline with high fares and poor service. Customers who love the JetBlue experience can look forward to significant growth at LaGuardia and similarly up to 70 daily flights at Newark, as well as seamless connections onto American’s long-haul network in and out of New York and Boston.”

Also commenting on the advancing strategic alliance, American Airlines’ Chief Revenue Officer, Vasu Raja, added,

“With this alliance, American and JetBlue will operate the biggest network for our customers in the Northeast, which will allow American to grow our mainline operations as we recover from the pandemic. We are already planning to launch new international routes to Athens and Tel Aviv this summer, which are just two of many new routes we plan to launch.”

The alliance will offer customers of both carriers the largest New York City and Boston network, accelerating the replacement of smaller regional aircraft with larger jets. American Airlines will upguage aircraft throughout the year and by the end of 2021 will offer First Class on all flights out of New York. During the first quarter, both airlines will begin to align their schedules giving customers new flight options, better connections, competitive fares and access to more domestic and international destinations.

JetBlue plans on significantly expanding their service at LGA as well as other NYC airports and in Boston. The alliance will also allow the airline to begin reactivating some previously idled aircraft. American Airlines previously announced the introduction of brand new service from New York-JFK to Tel Aviv and Athens, reintroducing long-haul service to New Yorkers for the first time in four years. Later in the first quarter, JetBlue will place their B6 code on a variety of American flights in New York and Boston, while American will place their AA code on select JetBlue flights from the three NYC area airports and Boston. The codeshare introduces JetBlue customers to over 60 new routes operated by American Airlines and American’s guests will have access to more than 30 new JetBlue routes.

After a six month review, the U.S DOT terminated their review of the alliance in exchange for several commitments to ensure competition won’t be unfairly impacted. Some of these commitments include growth commitments to ensure expansion, slot divestitures at JFK and Washington-Reagan (DCA) and other antitrust compliance measures. Additionally, in city pair markets where the airlines are already substantial competitors to each other, and there is little competition from other airlines, they will refrain from certain kinds of coordination.

Source(s): American Airlines, JetBlue Airways


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