American Airlines and JetBlue Partnership Struck Down

American Airlines and JetBlue Partnership Struck Down in Federal Court

A federal judge has ordered American Airlines and JetBlue Airways to break up their alliance after finding that the arrangement means higher prices for consumers.

US District Judge Leo Sorokin found in favour of the Justice Department (DoJ), who brought the lawsuit against American and JetBlue in September 2021. At issue was the airlines’ partnership in the Northeast, which the DoJ alleged was effectively a merger of the companies’ Boston and New York businesses.

“It makes the two airlines partners, each having a substantial interest in the success of their joint and individual efforts, instead of vigorous, arms-length rivals regularly challenging each other in the marketplace of competition,” Sorokin said in his ruling.

The airlines were ordered to end their partnership within 30 days, which is likely to imperil their operations during the looming summer travel season. A JetBlue spokesperson said that the airline was in the process of studying the ruling and evaluating its course of action.

“We are disappointed in the decision,” the spokesperson said. “Through the NEA, JetBlue has been able to significantly grow in constrained northeast airports, bringing the airline’s low fares and great service to more routes than would have been possible otherwise.”

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