FORT WORTH- American Airlines (AA) has filed an appeal against a court ruling that invalidated its “Northeast Alliance” (NEA) partnership with JetBlue Airways (B6), as announced by the airline on September 25th.
In May, the two companies faced an unexpected setback when a US federal court deemed their nearly four-year collaboration in the Northeastern US as illegal.
American JetBlue Appeals to Court
The partnership enabled American and JetBlue to integrate their operations in New York and Boston by sharing revenue, coordinating flight schedules, codesharing, and providing reciprocal benefits to frequent flyers.
Both airlines had initially promoted the agreement as pro-consumer and pro-competitive.
In September 2021, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated a lawsuit to halt the Northeast Alliance (NEA) between American Airlines and JetBlue Airways, alleging that the agreement violated antitrust laws.
On May 19th, the court ruled in favor of the DOJ, leading to the order to dissolve and permanently unwind the partnership, a decision that JetBlue accepted without appealing.
Focus on Spirit Merger
Following the dissolution of the alliance, JetBlue shifted its focus to its proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of the ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines (NK), aiming to complete the deal by early 2024. However, this acquisition has also faced legal challenges, as the DOJ has filed a lawsuit to block it.
The trial is scheduled to commence in October, but its timing is uncertain due to a potential government shutdown starting later this week.
In contrast, American Airlines, despite the alliance being effectively terminated, expressed its commitment in July to appeal the court’s decision issued by District Judge Leo Sorokin.
The airlines had informed the court that they would terminate the alliance within a few weeks, with the wind-down process extending over the next few months.
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