American, JetBlue Alliance Gets Green Light from DOT

By Kurt Stolz on 12 January 2021
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American Airlines and JetBlue Airways said Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation has completed its review of their proposed Northeast-focused alliance, first announced in July 2020.

The action will permit the two airlines to proceed with the implementation work required to put the wheels into motion.

Politicians voiced their support of the alliance.

“I am glad to see JetBlue and American Airlines collaborating on innovative solutions to save thousands more jobs in a way that also expands New Yorkers’ travel options,” said Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York who is poised to become the Senate majority leader on January 20.

As part of the partnership, American will introduce new international non-stop service from New York City to Tel Aviv and Athens. It will also restart non-stop seasonal service to from New York to Rio de Janeiro in winter in 2021.  This will be in addition to the airline’s current non-stop service from the Big Apple to London Heathrow and Madrid.

Meanwhile, JetBlue will increase its presence at JFK to allow for what the two termed “seamless connections” to American’s international flights.  JetBlue will also increase service to what it called “strategic markets” on the East Coast, West Coast, and in the Southeast.

In addition, the New York-based carrier will add additional flights from LaGuardia and Newark, it said.

The two airlines will launch reciprocal codeshare flights in the current quarter under the new codeshare agreement that will give their customers access to more domestic and international flights. This includes 60 new routes operated by American and 130 by JetBlue.  Travelers will be able to book a single itinerary that combines flights from both carriers and will only have to check in once for multiple flights on the same itinerary, regardless of the airline operating the flight.  Members of the two airlines’ frequent-flyer programs will receive some benefits, although they were not specified.

Despite the alliance with American, JetBlue said it is not joining the oneworld alliance nor the American Airlines-International Airline Group joint venture that covers transatlantic flights operated by American and IAG airlines including British Airways.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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