American Airlines Group (AAL 0.41%) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU 1.06%) announced a new partnership Thursday that aims to make both airlines more competitive and offer their respective customers more choices. The airlines are targeting New York and Boston with a strategy to promote growth from trends that they believe are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement aligns the loyalty programs from both airlines, seeking to provide "seamless connectivity" for current customers. JetBlue customers will get more options to connect to U.S. destinations, "while American will complement JetBlue's improved and expanded service with new international routes," the companies said.
The airlines believe the alliance will provide growth opportunities for both companies. JetBlue plans to accelerate its growth into more cities, adding flights at LaGuardia and Newark. It will also increase its presence at JFK, offering its customers more connections to American's international routes. American will launch international flights from JFK to Tel Aviv and Athens and bring back a seasonal route to Rio De Janeiro. JetBlue also plans to increase service to the West Coast and Southeast.
Customers will now be able to book travel using either website, with added connection availability. A single itinerary will now be able to include flights from both airlines.
Both airlines are looking for ways to more successfully emerge from the pandemic by adding customers. "JetBlue customers will have more routes and destinations to choose from through American Airlines' extensive global network," said Scott Laurence, JetBlue's head of revenue and planning. American Airlines president Robert Isom pointed out that American already has a strong presence in the Northeast, and can now offer more flights in New York and Boston and will give American customers access to more than 130 new routes offered by JetBlue.