On July 16, JetBlue and American Airlines announced a partnership to help travelers in the Northeast connect to hundreds of destinations across the United States. While it is not a traditional merge, the alliance agreement will help both airlines recover from the pandemic. The JetBlue and American Airlines partnership is just the beginning of major changes to come in the airline industry.
In April 2020, Travelbinger reported 9 airline predictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, based on the aftermath of 9/11 and Great Recession of 2008.
In the report, we mentioned airlines would increase their use of code-share agreements, and that two airlines would eventually and likely merge. In 2000, nine airlines held 80% of the marketshare. By 2011, only five airlines controlled nearly 80% of the US market, according to Dollar Flight Club.JetBlue and American Airlines partnership during pandemic.
Following the path of the recession of 2008, Continental and United as well as Delta and Northwest Airlines merged. Because the patterns of this pandemic follow the 2008 recession, it is likely that two major airlines (like JetBlue and American) could merge into one large airline to benefit each other.
It’s a smart move, and it’s indicative of major changes airlines will have to adopt to stay afloat, especially since it could take up to 5 years for airlines to rebound from its losses.
For this particular JetBlue and American alliance, each airline will sell seats on other’s flights and share frequent flier benefits, especially increasing international connectivity in New York and Boston. Flight options will significantly increase. However, JetBlue will not join Oneworld Alliance, which includes American.
While JetBlue, one of the safest airlines to fly during COVID-19, has scored quite well with passengers for ensuring safety with social distancing and face masks, American Airlines has taken a lot of heat for allowing passengers to take off face masks, and not blocking middle seats and cramping flights.
Due to coronavirus, airlines have significantly reduced routes and flight schedules and are predicted to lose up to $252 billion in revenue this year.
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