September 21 (WNN) — The US Justice Department sued Tuesday to block an alliance that would see American Airlines and JetBlue sharing passengers on flights in the Northeast.
The lawsuit by the Justice Department, and the attorney general of six states and Washington, D.C., said the so-called “Northeast Alliance” would end competition between the two airlines in the region and elsewhere.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement, “In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ ‘alliance’ with JetBlue is actually going to further strengthen the industry.” An unprecedented maneuver.” . “If this is allowed to continue it will result in higher fares, fewer options and lower quality service.”
The alliance, which was announced in July 2020 and approved by the Trump administration’s Department of Transportation, will combine American and JetBlue operations at four major airports in the New York City area and Boston: Boston Logan, John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Freedom.
The partnership would allow airlines to share revenue across airports and includes sharing loyalty benefits for commuters to and from New York and Boston.
It will also allow American to launch international service from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Israel, Greece and Brazil. JetBlue may add service to LaGuardia Airport in New York, Newark, NJ, and Southeast and West Coast markets, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Airlines have argued that the partnership is necessary for them to compete with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines in the Northeast.
American Airlines CEO Doub Parker told The Washington Post that the airline would “strongly defend” the alliance.
“We and JetBlue are putting our networks together to increase competition to provide consumers with more choice, especially in the Northeast, New York and Boston, where American does not have as large a presence as Delta and United,” They said.