American and JetBlue pick a launch date for their Northeast Alliance

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American and JetBlue pick a launch date for their Northeast Alliance

American Airlines and JetBlue will kick off their Northeast Alliance next week with nearly 80 codeshare routes.Forty-nine of those routes are flown by

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American Airlines and JetBlue will kick off their Northeast Alliance next week with nearly 80 codeshare routes.

Forty-nine of those routes are flown by JetBlue, with the remainder flown by American. The codeshares begin Feb. 25, and tickets are now on sale.

The announcement comes just two days after JetBlue’s pilot union rejected a tentative agreement with management
that would have allowed the carrier to implement its full partnership
with American, citing concerns that the codeshare could result in pilot
job losses. JetBlue said at the time it intended to go forward with codeshare plans.

The alliance, which is to be centered in Boston and the New York metropolitan area, has been conceived by the airlines as way for them to more quickly recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

Along with codesharing, the carriers have been granted authority to coordinate their schedules through Boston and the three major New York/New Jersey airports: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark.

Those alignments will begin in April on service from New York and Boston to highly trafficked destinations, including Los Angeles, South Florida and Washington. For example, the carriers will offer a combined 14 flights daily from Newark or JFK to Los Angeles, with departures coordinated to launch hourly.

Schedule coordination will expand in the summer to several more city pairs, among them New York and San Francisco; New York and Atlanta; New York and Chicago; Boston and Chicago; and Boston and Los Angeles.

The JetBlue-American alliance has drawn formal complaints from other airlines as well as consumer advocates, who claim that the tie-up could reduce competition in the Boston and New York-area markets. The DOT said late last month that it will review whether the alliance should be subject to a second, more public, review.

The carriers may have been seeking to address criticisms Thursday when they announced a combined 33 new routes as part of what they are calling the first phase of the alliance. American’s new routes will include six international services from JFK launching in May and June, including to Cali, Bogota and Medillin in Colombia, as well Santiago, Chile; St. Lucia; and Turks and Caicos.

• Related: DOT may re-examine its approval of the American-JetBlue alliance

The carrier will also operate nine new seasonal domestic routes from Boston and LaGuardia this summer and launch one new year-round domestic operation each from Boston, JFK and LaGuardia.

JetBlue announced 15 new year-round or seasonal routes, including 12 from Newark and three from LaGuardia, beginning July 1. Five of those routes are year-round international service from Newark, including flights to Antigua; Cartagena, Colombia; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic; and St. Lucia. Two more will go year-round from Newark to the U.S. Caribbean territories, including Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

JetBlue will also launch twice-daily, year-round service from LaGuardia to Denver.

JetBlue and American have envisioned their Northeast codeshare expanding to approximately 190 routes, with 130 flown by JetBlue and 60 flown by American.

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