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American Airlines and JetBlue have confirmed that their Northeast-focused alliance will launch as planned after completing a regulatory review.
As part of the strategic pact, the two carriers will offer a host of passenger-focused benefits to create a seamless travel experience. For one, the carriers will align their Northeast networks, both in the New York and Boston metropolitan areas.
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American will upgauge its domestic aircraft flying to and from New York to ensure that all routes are operated with a first-class cabin by the end of 2021. Additionally, the two carriers will begin coordinating schedules in the first half of the year, delivering more flight options and connectivity across the two airlines.
JetBlue will boost its presence at both New York LaGuardia and Newark, with up to 70 daily flights at the latter airport. The carrier plans to reactivate parked aircraft to fuel the expansion.
Gallery: The world’s safest airlines for 2021, per AirlineRatings.com (USA TODAY)
American Airlines will add two new long-haul flights from New York-JFK; one to Athens (ATH) and another to Tel Aviv (TLV). Those routes were previously announced as part of their plans for the partnership, and the carriers say more are on the way.
During the first quarter, both American and JetBlue will begin codesharing on a variety of flights in the New York and Boston area. AA will add its code on more than 130 JetBlue routes, and JetBlue will place its code on more than 60 American routes. Flights that include segments in New York or Boston will be bookable both on jetblue.com and aa.com in the coming weeks.
Perhaps most excitingly, the two carriers confirmed that reciprocal mileage earning and burning will be included in the alliance. Later this year, frequent flyers will be able to use JetBlue TrueBlue points for AA flights, and vice versa. It remains to be seen how each airline will recognize partner elites, with more details promised later this year.
As part of the tie-up, the two carriers needed to make some concessions to the Department of Transportation (DOT) in exchange for the agency’s approval. This includes commitments to growth, slot divestitures at the capacity controlled airports of New York-JFK and Washington/National (DCA) and other antitrust compliance measures.
American and JetBlue have also promised that they will refrain from coordinating in markets where they compete head-to-head without significant competition from other airliens.
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