JetBlue Plans to End Northeast Alliance with American Airlines After Judge’s Ruling

JetBlue Plans to End Northeast Alliance with American Airlines

JetBlue Plans to End Northeast Alliance with American Airlines

JetBlue Airways said Wednesday that it will end its partnership with American Airlines after a federal judge ruled against the agreement. The New York airline will instead focus on its acquisition of Spirit Airlines.

JetBlue said in a statement that it strongly disagrees with the court’s ruling against the Northeast Alliance (NEA) and stand behind the procompetitive impact of the alliance. However, the airline said it “has made the difficult decision not to appeal the court’s determination that the NEA cannot continue as currently crafted, and has instead initiated the termination of the NEA, beginning a wind down process that will take place over the coming months.”

The statement said that the focus will now shift to the proposed combination with Spirit, which is the “best and most effective opportunity to truly transform the competitive landscape in the U.S. and bring the JetBlue Effect to more routes and markets across the country.”

American Airlines said Wednesday that it will still appeal the ruling. “JetBlue has been a great partner, and we will continue to work with them to ensure our mutual customers can travel seamlessly without disruption to their travel plans,” American said in a statement on its website.

JetBlue still has to overcome a similar hurdle in the Spirit deal. The Justice Department sued to block the deal in March. “JetBlue’s plan would eliminate the unique competition that Spirit provides — and about half of all ultra-low-cost airline seats in the industry — and leave tens of millions of travelers to face higher fares and fewer options,” it said in the suit.

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