JetBlue, British Airways seek partnership to expand networks

Silhouette of passenger in front of the JetBlue Airbus A321neo aircraft spotted on the apron tarmac docked at the passenger jet bridge from the terminal of Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport AMS EHAM in the Netherlands. 

Nicholas Economou | Nurphoto | Getty Images

JetBlue Airways said Wednesday that it is seeking U.S. Department of Transportation approval to pair up with British Airways so the airlines could each expand their networks.

The code-sharing agreement includes 75 destinations in the United States — 39 from New York and 36 from Boston — and 17 cities in Europe.

Airlines frequently turn to code-sharing agreements, which allow carries to sell seats on airline partner’s flights, to grow in regions outside their network.

American Airlines also has a more than decade-old joint venture with British Airways across the Atlantic that is more involved than a code-sharing agreement.

JetBlue has been growing its service to Europe in recent years, adding flights to Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Edinburgh, though it is dwarfed by larger trans-Atlantic alliances, including those of American, United and Delta Air Lines.

“We are always looking for new ways to offer our customers more choice when traveling,” JetBlue said in a statement about the agreement, which was reported earlier by Paxex Aero, an industry news site.

If the agreement were to gain DOT approval, customers would be able to seamlessly book a single ticket for travel on both airlines, providing an expanded network of destinations across Europe and the U.S.

American declined to say if it was involved in the JetBlue-British Airways plan.

The new “codeshare provides more options for transatlantic travel, which travelers can appreciate, whether flying on the Atlantic Joint Business or otherwise,” American said in a statement.

British Airways didn’t immediately comment.

JetBlue’s request for an agreement with British Airways comes a year after a federal judge struck down JetBlue’s partnership with American in the U.S Northeast, which sought to allow the carriers to coordinate schedules and routes.

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