JetBlue, American to Further Alliance with More NYC, Boston Routes

JetBlue, American to Further Alliance with More NYC, Boston Routes

American Airlines and JetBlue are adding new routes out of New York and Boston starting later this year, 24 new routes altogether, to boost the new Northeast Alliance between the two carriers.

American’s plans include service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and New Delhi, set to begin Oct. 31 on Boeing 777-200 aircraft. American plans to fly the route three times per week and increase to daily from Nov. 17 to Jan. 3, the peak holiday travel season.

In addition, American is adding three new routes each out of Boston and New York’s LaGuardia Airport. New LaGuardia routes include Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, Oklahoma City and Omaha; the new Boston routes include Cincinnati, St. Louis and Toronto. All routes begin Nov. 2.

Also on Nov. 2, American will begin using its Airbus A321T aircraft, which has First and Business class cabins with lie-flat seats, on its routes between Boston and JFK. The carrier already uses the aircraft on routes from JFK to both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Additionally, American is removing all 50-seat aircraft on its routes between New York and Washington, D.C., to ensure at least two classes of service on each flight.

JetBlue, meanwhile, is adding seven new destinations to its route network starting later this year as it expands out of Boston and JFK. Service to San Antonio out of both airports will begin in October, followed by service from JFK to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in December.

Next year, JetBlue plans to start service between JFK and Puerto Vallarta in the first quarter. Service from both Boston and JFK to both Kansas City and Milwaukee is slated for the second quarter. In the summer of 2022, JetBlue plans new service to Vancouver from both Boston and JFK as well as service between Boston and Asheville, N.C.

JetBlue also is adding six new routes out of LaGuardia. Service to Jacksonville and Sarasota in Florida as well as Savannah/Hilton Head will begin in October, followed by flights to New Orleans in the first quarter of 2022, Nashville in the second quarter and Portland, Maine, in the summer.

American and JetBlue began codesharing as a part of their new alliance earlier this year, and the carriers are expanding that codesharing beginning May 3. JetBlue plans to place its code on 24 additional American flights, and American is adding its code to 15 JetBlue flights. The carriers also plan to launch a post-security shuttle service linking JetBlue’s Terminal 5 and American’s Terminal 8 operations at JFK to make connecting flights more convenient.

The new alliance plans come amid reports of increased scrutiny of the alliance from the U.S. Department of Justice, however. The Wall Street Journal last week reported that DOJ is taking another look at competition concerns from the alliance, following a formal request from competitor Spirit Airlines. The carriers received U.S. Department of Transportation approval for the alliance in January with a few concessions, though the department at the time was still under the former Trump administration. The DOJ has not reached any final conclusions in its investigations, and the final say will go to DOT, according to the WSJ report.

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