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Airline Analysis: American Airlines & JetBlue Link New York Flights

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JetBlue Logo - American Airlines tieupAmerican Airlines and JetBlue Airways have joined forces to connect JetBlue’s domestic flights with American’s international ones.

In an announcement on March 30, the airliners unveiled a partnership that allows American customers to have the option of linking t0 18 domestic flights through Jetblue.

JetBlue customers, in turn, will be able to link to international flights out of JFK and Boston’s Logan Airport, where American flies to 12 destinations in Europe, South America and Asia.

American Airlines and JetBlue’s partnership marks the first time the New York-based JetBlue has entered into a partnership with another major U.S. carrier.

The agreement is part of a push by American Airlines to expand its footing in the competitive New York market.

Though it has no international flights beyond the Caribbean, the upstart JetBlue has the largest market-share at JFK with 41.7 percent of all the airport’s passengers and 165 daily flights.

American AirlinesBy aligning with JetBlue, American gains traffic to its mostly international service out of JFK.  By the end of 2010, the airline will offer 271 nonstop flights and 81 destinations to New York passengers.

The CEOs of JetBlue and American say they are open to more cooperation between their airlines, but are still competitors in the domestic routes they both serve.

In addition to the JetBlue partnership, American Airlines has pledged to expand its operations by 23 flights at LaGuardia and JFK and to spend more than $30 million on terminal improvements at the airports.

The airline has also affiliated with New York’s tourism marketing and promotion arm, promising to provide $8 million over a two-year span to boost tourism to the state.

By Adriana Padilla for PeterGreenberg.com.

Related links: New York Times, USA Today, AirlineFinancials.com

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