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Wed, 13 January 2021

Green Light for American Airlines, JetBlue Alliance

(13 Jan 2021) Following an approximately six-month review, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to terminate its review of the alliance between JetBlue and American Airlines in exchange for a series of commitments to ensure the alliance delivers consumers benefits without harming competition.

These include growth commitments to ensure capacity expansion, slot divestitures at JFK and at Washington, D.C.s Reagan National Airport (DCA), and antitrust compliance measures.

The two airlines will also need to refrain from certain kinds of coordination in city pair markets where they are substantial competitors to each other and there is little service from other airlines.

American Airlines Boeing 777 reg: N719AN. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Both carriers will now begin to implement key aspects of the alliance in phases, offering more seamless connectivity and better travel choices on routes to and from New York (JFK, LGA and EWR) and Boston (BOS).

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, said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue. 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 Americans long-haul network in and out of New York and Boston.

Important components of the alliance will be introduced starting in Q1 2021 and phased in over the course of the year:

Seamless Customer Experience: With each element of the alliance, customers flying in and out of New York and Boston will enjoy a more seamless experience across both airlines, including the ability to book a single itinerary on either website, access to the alliances significant global network, convenient connections, access to loyalty benefits and an improved on-the-ground experience.

Network Alignment in the Northeast: American will upgauge aircraft and by the end of 2021 will operate all service out of New York with first class. Starting in H1 2021, JetBlue and American schedules in New York and Boston will begin to be aligned to give customers new flight options, with improved schedules, better connections, competitive fares and access to more domestic and international destinations.

Expanded Service in the Northeast: As part of the alliance, JetBlue plans to significantly expand its service at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), as well as further expand in other NYC airports and in Boston. The alliance will also allow JetBlue to reactivate  aircraft that would otherwise sit idle. An expanded operation at LaGuardia further advances JetBlues position as New Yorks Hometown Airline and accelerates the airlines ability to recover. As previously announced, American is introducing brand new service on from New York (JFK) to Tel Aviv (TLV) and Athens (ATH).

Codeshare Agreement: Starting later this quarter, JetBlue will place its B6 code on a variety of American flights in New York and Boston. Likewise, American will place its AA code on select JetBlue flights also in at New Yorks John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) airports, as well as Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). Flights touching New York or Boston from either JetBlue, American or connecting combinations of both will be bookable on jetblue.com and aa.com in the coming weeks. The codeshare will introduce JetBlue customers to more than 60 new routes operated by American and will introduce Americans customers to more than 130 new routes operated by JetBlue.

Reciprocal Loyalty Benefits: Later this year, customers of both JetBlues TrueBlue and Americans AAdvantage programs will be able to enjoy reciprocal benefits, including the ability to earn and/or redeem points or miles on either carrier making both loyalty program even more valuable. The airlines are also exploring opportunities to recognize JetBlue Mosaic customers and Americans AAdvantage elite members across both airlines.

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, said Vasu Raja, Americans Chief Revenue Officer. 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.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, American Airlines, JetBlue.

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