American adds 6 new routes as part of Northeast Alliance tie-up with JetBlue

May 27, 2022

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American Airlines is charging ahead with growth under the Northeast Alliance tie-up with JetBlue, despite the latter carrier’s ambitions to take over Spirit Airlines.

The Fort Worth-based carrier unveiled on Friday six new routes from New York that’ll go on sale over the Memorial Day weekend.

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The airline will launch four routes from New York LaGuardia (LGA) and two from JFK, as follows:

  • New York LaGuardia (LGA) — Tulsa (TUL)
    • Daily year-round service starting Nov. 3, 2022.
  • LGA — Little Rock (LIT)
    • Daily year-round service starting Nov. 3, 2022.
  • LGA — Asheville (AVL)
    • Daily between Nov. 3, 2022, and April 3, 2023.
  • LGA — Key West (EYW)
    • Daily between Nov. 3, 2022, and April 3, 2023.
  • New York-JFK — Bermuda (BDA)
    • Daily between Nov. 3, 2022, and Oct. 28, 2023.
  • JFK — Monterrey, Mexico (MTY)
    • Daily between Nov. 3, 2022, and Oct. 28, 2023.

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American is already selling serving from LaGuardia to Asheville and Key West for this summer, but the airline is extending the service for another season — and increasing the frequency to daily — as part of Friday’s announcement.

Separately, the airline last flew between JFK and Bermuda before the pandemic, and now the airline is bringing the route back as part of the Northeast Alliance.

The Northeast Alliance (NEA) was first unveiled in July 2020 as a way for American and JetBlue to grow in New York and Boston. Both carriers felt locked out of the two metro areas due to stiff competition from Delta and United.

The NEA was created to unlock mutual growth opportunities for more flying with both airlines, the companies have previously said. To date, American has added several high-profile international routes, including service to Tel Aviv (TLV), Athens (ATH), New Delhi (DEL) and soon-to-launch Doha (DOH).

Both carriers have also added a slew of domestic routes as well. Additionally, the airlines have introduced new reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits as part of the pact.

That said, it hasn’t all been good news for the NEA. The tie-up has been heavily scrutinized under the Biden administration, culminating in a mid-September 2021 DOJ lawsuit alleging that the pact is anti-competitive.

While we’re still waiting for the outcome of the suit, the two carriers are still charging ahead with network expansions.

For American, adding new routes comes at an interesting time. For one, JetBlue recently announced its bid to take over Spirit Airlines, which would seemingly put the NEA at risk with regulators.

JetBlue has vociferously defended both the NEA and its proposed Spirit acquisition, saying that it believes regulators would allow the carrier to proceed with both.

Meanwhile, Spirit’s board (and many aviation observers) have cast doubt on JetBlue’s reasoning.

The New York-based carrier hasn’t publicly said whether it’s willing to drop the NEA to pursue its hostile takeover bid, though it’s possible we’ll never know if the proposed takeover doesn’t happen.

For its part, American has refused to comment on the future of the NEA, though it seems clear that nothing’s changing in the near term.

Separately, adding these new routes come just a few hours after American announced that it’s cutting several International routes that it first launched under the NEA, including New York-JFK to Cali and Medellin in Colombia.

American told TPG that it’ll use those slots, along with a few additional frequency cuts elsewhere, to fly this latest round of expansion.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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