JetBlue, Norwegian announce plans for passenger-sharing tie-up

Oct 17, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

JetBlue Airways and Norwegian intend to enter into a partnership that would allow them to sell connecting seats onto each other’s flights.

The carriers says they’ve signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for an interline agreement that would “allow customers to combine low fares in a convenient single booking for connecting flights between the Americas and Europe.”

Norwegian said it expected the partnership to launch early in the summer of 2020 and be bookable “in early 2020.” If executed as planned, customers would be able to book connecting itineraries involving both carriers in a single booking. Customers would be able to check luggage to their final destination, even if the connecting leg was operated by the other carrier.

Under the proposal, a passenger would be able to book an itinerary on a domestic JetBlue flight to New York JFK and then connect on a Norwegian flight to a destination such as Amsterdam, London or Oslo.

The partnership will not begin with reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits, though they could be added once the airlines’ partnership is finalized, Norwegian spokesman Anders Lindström said to TPG.

Related: Snapshot: A Look at JetBlue by the Numbers

Geir Karlsen, Norwegian’s acting CEO, pledged that the proposed partnership with JetBlue would “make international travel even smoother and more available for our customers.”

“JetBlue is the largest airline at several of our key gateways in the United States, specifically New York JFK, Boston and Fort Lauderdale, and this partnership will create a plethora of new route connections for customers on both sides of the Atlantic,” Karlsen added.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes echoed similar sentiments in the statement, saying the proposed pact “seamlessly connects JetBlue’s robust network throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with the exciting European destinations on our new partner’s route map.”

The tie-up, according to Norwegian, would connect more than 60 U.S. and nearly 40 Caribbean and Latin American cities to Norwegian’s network via JetBlue’s bases at New York JFK, Boston and Fort Lauderdale. From those same bases, Norwegian offers more than 20 nonstop routes to Europe.

Related: Exciting New Airline Routes for September 2019 and Beyond

Fast-growing Norwegian has added dozens of nonstop routes between the U.S. and Europe in recent years, becoming one of the top players across the Atlantic.

JetBlue’s strongest presence is in the U.S. East Coast, Florida and the Caribbean. It plans to launch service to London in 2020, but final details have not yet been revealed.

The deal would allow the two carriers to leverage their market strengths while also expanding their networks via the other’s route map.

Currently, the transatlantic market is dominated by American, Delta and United and their European alliance and joint-venture partners.

Related: Can Delta and JetBlue Make Boston the Next Dual-Hub City?

JetBlue’s Hayes suggested that the partnership with Norwegian was an attempt to push back against those entrenched partnerships.

“Norwegian shares our belief that customers benefit when we can bring competition and low fares to the transatlantic market currently dominated by joint ventures, legacy alliances and sky-high ticket prices,” he said.

Featured photo by Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.