When the deal was first announced JetBlue and American Airlines chose to keep quiet about potential slot swaps at New York City’s airports. With some time now passed, however, both sides are sharing more. And – pending regulatory approval – it is clear that they have big plans together.
We envision being able to take out things like 50 seat regional jets, which are on a many ways really uncompetitive product and a place like New York or Boston and arrange a number of slot moves within JFK and LaGuardia such that certainly and we can grow [JetBlue’s] mainline presence. That’s where you see us adding more long haul services in New York.
– Vasu Raja, AA’s Chief Revenue Officer
More than just codesharing
To be sure, extensive code-share agreements are part of the deal. Nearly two hundred routes are expected to be shared across the partnership, with AA adding its code to approximately 130 JetBlue-operated flights and roughly half on the inverse. Frequent flyer opportunities are also part of the deal, as is the ability to share corporate travel deals, assuming corporate travel returns at some point.
But the shifting route networks and the associated slot swap potential becomes very interesting very quickly.
In the company’s earnings call last week AA’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja laid bare the challenges the company faces in the Northeast and also on the west coast, where a similar deal is developing with Alaska Airlines:
Our hubs excluding the Northeast that is New York and Boston and