Huge: American & JetBlue Add 33 Routes In The Northeast

Filed Under: American, JetBlue

We’ve known for a while that American and JetBlue are introducing a strategic alliance in the Northeast. Well, today there was a major announcement on that front, as American and JetBlue plan to codeshare as of February 25, 2021 (which is a week from today).

In addition to revealing plans to align schedules in several markets, American and JetBlue have announced a total of 33 new routes, which I wanted to cover in this post. In no particular order, here’s what we can expect:

American’s international expansion in New York

As of May 6, 2021, American Airlines is adding the following new year-round routes to Latin America out of New York JFK:

  • New York to Santiago, Chile (SCL) — 3x weekly flights using a 777-200
  • New York to Bogota, Colombia (BOG) — daily using an A319
  • New York to Cali, Colombia (CLO) — daily using an A319
  • New York to Medellin, Colombia (MDE) — daily using an A319

On top of that, American is adding two new seasonal, Saturday-only routes to the Caribbean out of New York JFK:

  • New York to St. Lucia (UVF) — using a 737-800
  • New York to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (PLS) — using a 737-800

This complements American’s previously announced international expansion out of New York, including to Athens, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and Tel Aviv.

American will fly from New York to Santiago

American’s domestic expansion in the Northeast

American Airlines is adding a dozen new domestic routes out of Boston and New York-area airports, some of which may come as a surprise. These new routes are as follows:

  • Boston (BOS) to Asheville, North Carolina (AVL) — seasonal
  • Boston (BOS) to Columbus, Ohio (CMH) — year-round
  • Boston (BOS) to Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC) — seasonal
  • Boston (BOS) to Traverse City, Michigan (TVC) — seasonal
  • Boston (BOS) to Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM) — seasonal
  • New York (JFK) to Orange County, California (SNA) — year-round
  • New York (LGA) to Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) — year-round
  • New York (LGA) to Key West, Florida (EYW) — seasonal
  • New York (LGA) to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR)
  • New York (LGA) to Pensacola, Florida (PNS) — seasonal
  • New York (LGA) to Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP) — seasonal
  • New York (LGA) to Savannah, Georgia (SAV) — seasonal

American will fly A321Ts from New York to Orange County

JetBlue’s expansion in the Northeast

JetBlue Airways is adding well over a dozen new routes out of the Northeast, with a particular focus on Newark. These routes include the following:

  • New York (JFK) to Kalispell, Montana (FCA) — seasonal
  • New York (JFK) to Boise, Idaho (BOI) — seasonal
  • Newark (EWR) to St. John’s, Antigua (ANU) — year-round
  • Newark (EWR) to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (BQN) — year-round
  • Newark (EWR) to Cartagena, Colombia (CTG) — year-round
  • Newark (EWR) to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY) — seasonal
  • Newark (EWR) to Nantucket, Massachusetts (ACK) — seasonal
  • Newark (EWR) to Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP) — year-round
  • Newark (EWR) to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (POP) — year-round
  • Newark (EWR) to Seattle, Washington (SEA) — seasonal
  • Newark (EWR) to St. Lucia (UVF) — year-round
  • Newark (EWR) to St. Thomas, USVI (STT) — year-round
  • New York (LGA) to Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) — year-round
  • New York (LGA) to Denver, Colorado (DEN) — year-round
  • New York (LGA) to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY) — seasonal

JetBlue is expanding significantly out of Newark

When should we expect reciprocal loyalty benefits?

While codeshare flights launch as of next week, American AAdvantage and JetBlue TrueBlue haven’t yet announced reciprocal points earning, points redemptions, or elite recognition.

What’s the latest on this front?

  • American AAdvantage and JetBlue will allow reciprocal points earning as of this spring, though we don’t have an exact date
  • Over time there are plans to allow reciprocal points redemptions, as well as reciprocal elite recognition

It sounds like we could expect reciprocal mileage earning within weeks, while other things might take a bit longer.

American & JetBlue will offer reciprocal points earning

My take on the American & JetBlue expansion

While I wouldn’t say there’s anything too surprising here, there are a few things I find noteworthy about this announcement from American and JetBlue:

  • I’m impressed by the speed at which American is adding long haul international routes out of New York JFK, with the introduction of Santiago service
  • JetBlue sure is going after United at Newark, as the airline keeps expanding there
  • I’m a bit surprised to see American adding point-to-point routes out of Boston, given that this is nowadays a hub for JetBlue, and barely a focus city for American; I suppose that maybe American has more of an ability to expand there than JetBlue does
  • While the new routes being added are great for consumers, it seems to me like we’re seeing significant reductions in combined service between airports where schedules are being aligned, like New York to Los Angeles
  • As I wrote about in a separate post, I find the New York to Orange County route on American to be the single most interesting addition, given that it will be operated by an A321T

American Airlines is adding routes in Boston

Bottom line

The new American and JetBlue strategic alliance is finally launching, as the two airlines will start codesharing as of next week. We’re seeing nearly three dozen new routes added, as well as aligned schedules in other markets.

American and JetBlue should offer reciprocal mileage earning as of this spring, with reciprocal mileage redemptions and elite benefits coming at a later point.

What do you make of these new American & JetBlue routes?

  1. Great to see these new routes along with Athens and Tel Aviv.

    So interesting they are adding Boise before Bozeman, I wonder why.

    Also, Jetblue will now have dual focus city’s In New York with large presences in JFK and EWR, this is looking like the Delta strategy.

    How well can Jetblue do serving so many cities from both JFK and EWR?

  2. Aw, I wish the JFK-BOG flight was twin aisle like the JFK-SCL flight but I’m sure there’s nowhere near the need for that much capacity. Americans A319s just aren’t that comfy for the length of that flight IMO. So I’ll continue to rely on JetBlue A320 or connect in ATL for B757.

  3. JFK-SCL goes daily from November 2020 (as of now). It is a surprising add, and a big plane for a long-thin route. The 787-8 is probably the better plane for AA to use (and compete with LATAM) but JFK isn’t a 787 base for the airline right now.

  4. There are some interesting adds like JFK-SNA but the majority of the announcement is seasonal routes on American regional carriers, often one flight/day. Lots of words but not a lot of new capacity. Many are secondary markets where it will be easy for connecting carriers to match fares and carry far more capacity over hubs.

    More significant is that the number of flights they mention in several markets is far less than what they operated pre-covid – and while they leave themselves wiggle room to add flights later, this announcement looks more like a case of AA and B6 combining their two networks in major markets and actually reducing capacity compared to other carriers or their pre-partnership levels.

    If JFK-LAX hasn’t worked with the A321T, it is hard to think the plane will be right for JFK-SNA. and the 777 is a big, inefficient airplane for JFK-SCL.

  5. I’m not optimistic about any kind of award redemption partnership. B6’s is a fixed $ to points system, with a slight devaluation when using it for their Mint product. That said, I don’t know how they would reconcile with AA’s fixed miles valuation system.

    In fact, it would be probably worse, and I don’t like the way airlines in general race to the bottom on providing award redemption value (looking at you DL).

  6. @Too Many I would not even bother looking at these particular routes for points redemptions (except for SCL). The rest of these all usually offer very cheap routes. We flew B6 to Bozeman not that long ago for ~$200/person rt.

  7. With most corporations still not back to travel or having a date to do so and issues with testing required for International travel I have to wonder is there actually enough demand for these new International routes.

  8. Funny how back in 2003, AA introduced a JFK-SNA route to compete with Jetblue’s frequent JFK-LGB service. I took that flight all the time.

    Hopefully this mean the EWR-SNA flight on United will be cheaper.

  9. “I’m a bit surprised to see American adding point-to-point routes out of Boston, given that this is nowadays a hub for JetBlue, and barely a focus city for American; I suppose that maybe American has more of an ability to expand there than JetBlue does”

    These AA BOS flights are flying to cities where there isn’t a JetBlue presence. CMH only had Jet Blue flights in 2006-2007 but has a decent AA presence. That’s the largest airport out of this list.
    It makes sense to fly into an airport with staff, equipment, etc. for an existing airline vs introducing a new airline for only one flight.

    Pre-covid Delta & SWA flew direct CMH-BOS. I don’t see direct flights available anymore so I’m guessing AA is taking advantage of this. I flew this route frequently. It actually was my last business trip before the covid lockdown!

  10. These seem like niche leisure routes to me – lots of folks who might otherwise go to Europe are heading to small towns on the millennial tourist radar, like Asheville and Savannah. That’s definitely to only explanation for a nonstop route to Wilmington, NC!

  11. There are so many airports and opportunities in the Northeast. I think it would be truly interesting to see, depending on what makes sense for JetBlue to play around with ALB/BDL/BTV/BUF/MHT/PWM/SYR/ROC/TFG to name a few. There has to be opportunities in places like that for at least seasonal sunshine routes vs all the Hub-Bub (j/k) of the big 3 hubs.

  12. EWR/ JFK to either DCA/ IAD would be a welcome addition. This route has sky high fares. LGA is UA only, JFK is DL only.

  13. A lot of interesting routes. I am a little surprised with the JetBlue EWR-SEA route, given that they have not restarted the JFK-SEA yet after axing it early in the pandemic (maybe at the end of March?).

  14. I think AA will have a huge hub in JFK, while Jetblue adds a lot more in EWR and LGA by using/leasing AA’s slots at LGA.

  15. @Ben – Airlines love to announce new routes out of slot controlled airports but always neglect to mention what’s getting wiped out to make way for the new service. Do you know what’s going away?

  16. This is really a return to Columbus-CMH and not really a launch for AA. It was previously served non-stop by US and HP (and B6 and American Eagle, IIRC)

  17. The EWR-SEA route which has been mentioned several times is precisely one of the dangers of AA’s double partnership strategy – just like the NYC transcons.
    AS has done poorly in the NE transcons since the Virgin America merger. Having B6 jump into more markets – with AA codesharing – is bound to make AS’ job a whole lot more difficult.

    There’s a lot of what was announced that might not stick but the biggest risk is that AA can’t be friends with both AS and B6.

  18. Will the ability to earn mileage be on all routes or just the codeshare ones? And will they count towards AA EQD?

    Anyone know?

  19. What is up with the BOS-Traverse City route?!? It it for bringing northern michiganders to New England, or an attempt to get Bostonians to see that there might be something worth noting between 128 and the Pacific Ocean? Either way, seems like an odd one.

  20. Tim,
    It’s almost as though AA has probably thought about having two partnerships and how to make it work… I mean, really?

  21. @Tim Dunn raises interesting and good points re AA/AS and AA/B6.

    I suspect that AS and B6 will substantially focus on their core markets of frequent flyers / brand lovers, though of course economy will substantially be price driven.

    As long as they harmonize the schedules and related connectivity I think there’s room for the threesome to work given the geographic split.

  22. It was said JetBlue is going after United in Newark-well, give them some competition by adding a flight from ILM to Newark! There are a lot of people that have moved there from NJ -so give them a direct flight verses going through IAD

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