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JetBlue and American join forces to share passengers and routes

Travelers will see more destinations and seamless experiences, the airlines say

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Photo (c) Arnoldo Robert - Getty Images
JetBlue and American Airlines are joining forces in a mutually beneficial partnership designed to offer seamless connectivity for travelers in the Northeastern U.S. and more choices for fliers across their complementary domestic and international networks. 

You can add one more benefit to that for the companies -- taking a huge bite out of Delta and United’s business. Quantifiably, this marriage gives the airlines a 23 percent share of the market, nearly six points ahead of Delta and 10 points ahead of United.

What travelers will see

If all goes according to plan, travelers will be treated to three major benefits from the new partnership, including:

  • New and expanded routes: In the new scenario, American will launch international service from New York’s JFK airport to Tel Aviv, Athens, and Rio De Janeiro on top of their current routes to London and Madrid. Meanwhile, JetBlue will take care of the other two New York airports, LaGuardia and Newark, and focus on East Coast, West Coast, and Southeast routes.With its fingers crossed, American Airlines said that once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, the partnership will be a boost for the company by virtue of adding new long-haul markets in Europe, Africa, India, and South America.

  • More destination choices and loyalty benefits: JetBlue and American will operate interdependent codeshare flights, giving travelers a greater array of schedules, competitive fares, and nonstop access to more destinations. The deal is particularly good for JetBlue, giving the airline connectivity to more U.S. destinations, a broad global network, and an improved frequent flyer proposition. American will complement JetBlue’s improved and expanded service with new international routes. For travelers who are looking for perks, the airlines promise loyalty members that they will enjoy new benefits and that the airlines are exploring additional premium experiences to offer customers.

  • Seamless experience: As you can imagine, interlacing the systems of two airlines could become a can of worms for consumers. American and JetBlue say they’re aware of that pitfall and will be doing all they can to create a “seamless experience,” including the ability to book a single itinerary on either website, convenient connections, and an improved on-the-ground experience.

“This is an incredible opportunity for both of our airlines,” said American Airlines President Robert Isom. “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.”

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