American, JetBlue sign strategic partnership to drive pandemic recovery

CHICAGO — American Airlines and JetBlue Airways said on Thursday they had agreed a strategic partnership to boost flying options in New York and Boston and create what executives called a “growth engine” to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal will include reciprocal codeshare flights on more than 60 routes operated by American and 130 by JetBlue that can be booked on either website. Customers can exchange frequent-flyer benefits, meaning they can earn miles on one airline and use them on the other.

As a result of the agreement, American will launch service from New York (JFK) to Tel Aviv, Athens and Rio de Janeiro in 2021 and continue to serve London and Madrid, giving JetBlue customers access to international markets.

JetBlue will add flights at all three New York area airports including its home base, JFK.

“This allows us to recover more quickly,” Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s head of revenue and planning, told Reuters. “It means that airplanes that would otherwise have been in a desert, they’re going to be flying and generating revenue.”

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