In a bid to come back from COVID stronger, two US powerhouses have joined forces to offer their respective customers more choice and value. JetBlue, with its impressive domestic and regional network, will join forces with American Airlines, with both feeding passengers through the others network. The strategic partnership will include an expansive codesharing agreement, as well as reciprocal loyalty benefits.
A new partnership
Announced today, JetBlue has formed a strategic alliance with the world’s largest airline by fleet size. American Airlines will work with the popular low-cost airline to provide more options and choices for customers in the northeast.
The tie-up will include an alliance agreement, which will allow for reciprocal codeshare and loyalty benefits for passengers of both airlines. The deal also promises new and expanded routes, more choice, and a seamless experience for customers of both carriers.
In a statement announcing the partnership, Joanna Geraghty, President and Chief Operating Officer at JetBlue commented,
“Pairing JetBlue’s domestic network with American’s international route map creates a new competitive choice in the Northeast, where customers are longing for an alternative to the dominant network carriers.
“This partnership with American is the next step in our plan to accelerate our coronavirus recovery, get our crewmembers and our aircraft flying again, and fuel JetBlue’s growth into the future.”
Similarly, the President of American Airlines Robert Isom commented,
“This is an incredible opportunity for both of our airlines. American has a strong history in the Northeast, and we’re proud to partner with JetBlue as the latest chapter in that long history. Together, we can offer customers an industry-leading product in New York and Boston with more flights and more seats to more cities.”
New routes on the way
As New York’s hometown airline, JetBlue’s alignment with American makes absolute sense. AA’s robust network out of JFK will bring a strong complement to JetBlue’s offering, allowing each to feed onto the other for more passenger choice long term.
When the partnership launches, AA plans to lay on new routes out of JFK to add even more opportunities for passengers. So far, we know this will include service between JFK and Tel Aviv (TLV) in Israel, as well as a seasonal service to Athens. Athens should begin by summer next year and will be the first new long-haul service from JFK for American in four years.
Starting in winter next year, AA will also launch a new seasonal daily service to Rio de Janeiro (GIG). As travel demand starts to rebound from COVID, American says it hopes to launch even more services into Europe, Africa, India, and South America.
JetBlue, too, is planning an increase in services from JFK, giving even more connection opportunities to American’s international customers. Service to strategic markets on the east and west coasts as well as in the southeast will be expanded, building on JetBlue’s already announced growth in nine different markets.
Codeshares will be placed on more than 60 routes operated by American Airlines and 130 routes offered by JetBlue. These reciprocal benefits will enable passengers to check-in right through both airline’s networks, in a completely seamless manner.
JetBlue was quick to clarify that this new partnership doesn’t mean it is joining oneworld or the AA/IAG joint business transatlantic venture. It remains focused on launching its own transatlantic routes to Europe in 2021.