JetBlue & Qatar Airways Expand Partnership

JetBlue & Qatar Airways Expand Partnership

21

American and Qatar Airways recently launched a strategic partnership, American and JetBlue recently launched a strategic partnership, and now JetBlue and Qatar Airways are expanding their partnership.

JetBlue & Qatar Airways expand codeshares

Today it has been announced that JetBlue and Qatar Airways are offering an expanded codeshare agreement. While the airlines have had some form of a partnership since 2011, it’s now being taken to the next level.

As of today, you can book Qatar Airways flights between select markets directly on jetblue.com, for travel as of April 19, 2021.

You can now book Qatar Airways travel on jetblue.com

Now, generally you’re still better off booking direct unless you’re planning an itinerary that involves travel on both airlines, but it’s still cool to see. Qatar Airways may have cheaper fares direct, you have more mileage earning potential if you’re on a direct “QR” code flight (not to be confused with the “QR codes” that have become so commonplace due to coronavirus), and it’ll be easier to make changes if there are schedule changes or you need to cancel.

With this development, the “B6” (JetBlue) code will be places on flights between the following nine airports and Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH):

  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • New York’s John F. Kennedy international Airport (JFK)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

This is intended to provide unique connectivity between the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America, and Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

On top of that, the JetBlue code will be placed on Qatar Airways flights to the following seven destinations beyond Doha, allowing further connections:

  • Amman, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
  • Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
  • Maldives’ Male International Airport (MLE)
  • Oman’s Muscat International Airport (MCT) & Salalah International Airport (SLL)
  • Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)
  • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
  • Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport (EBB)


JetBlue & Qatar Airways are expanding their codeshare agreement

Expect reciprocal points earning & redemption

Up until now JetBlue and Qatar Airways haven’t offered a loyalty program collaboration, but that will change:

  • JetBlue TrueBlue and Qatar Airways Privilege Club will offer reciprocal points earning opportunities as of later this year
  • In the future (with no timeline as of yet), the two programs will offer reciprocal points redemption opportunities

With JetBlue TrueBlue planning on introducing award redemptions on both American and Qatar Airways, here’s to hoping that JetBlue introduces award pricing with fixed costs on these partner redemptions.

Up until now one major downside of the TrueBlue program has been the lack of decent partner redemptions, and it would be so awesome to see that change.

JetBlue & Qatar Airways will offer a frequent flyer agreement

My take on this expanded partnership

I have three major thoughts and takeaways from this announcement.

First of all, I’m thrilled to see Qatar Airways’ success as of late, in particular with the airline improving partnerships with both other airlines and countries:

  • For years we saw a battle between US and Gulf carriers, and that’s now a thing of the past, with Qatar Airways partnering with Alaska, American, and JetBlue; Qatar Airways claims to partner with US airlines on more routes across the US than any other global airline
  • On top of that, the Gulf blockade was recently ended, so Qatar Airways again has access to Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE

The Gulf blockade is over, at long last

Second of all, there’s the bigger question of how exactly the American, Alaska, and JetBlue partnerships will evolve:

  • American now has separate close partnerships with Alaska and JetBlue
  • Qatar Airways has close partnerships with all of these airlines
  • Alaska Airlines recently joined oneworld

Is there any chance we see JetBlue join oneworld?

While I wouldn’t necessarily read into this purely based on today’s announcement, some questions remain:

  • Could we eventually see JetBlue join the oneworld alliance? It seems unlikely, but then again, a couple of years ago it would have seemed unlikely for Alaska to join oneworld, so who knows
  • Will we see some consolidation in the US, either between American and Alaska, American and JetBlue, or Alaska and JetBlue? Regulatory issues aside, these airlines are largely complementary
  • A few years back Qatar Airways wanted to invest in a US airline, so one has to wonder if that might be on the table once again

Lastly, isn’t it funny how it kind of just seems to be the whole airline industry vs. Delta here? Alaska, American, and JetBlue are basically teaming up to try to compete as efficiently as possible against Delta in many markets, and on top of that we know that Delta and Qatar Airways get along about as well as Harris and Ryan on 90 Day Fiancé (apologies to anyone who doesn’t watch the show, and to anyone who does watch the show, can we agree that Stephanie is on a different level than any other cast member ever?).

Bottom line

JetBlue and Qatar Airways have expanded their codeshare agreement, and JetBlue now codeshares on most of Qatar Airways’ routes out of the US. The airlines will introduce reciprocal points earning opportunities as of later this year, and will introduce reciprocal points redemption opportunities in the future.

This is especially exciting news for Qatar Airways, as it now has three strong US partners. On top of that, I can’t help but feel like we’re eventually getting to the point where something further might happen between any combination of Alaska, American, and JetBlue.

What do you make of the expanded JetBlue and Qatar Airways partnership? Do you think we could see JetBlue join oneworld?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Howard Miller

    If AA took over B6 they’d destroy...er USAirways...it.

    So, here’s hoping THAT nastiness *NEVER* happens! ;)

  2. SullyofDoha

    @Ben,
    Still no scheduled flights between Bahrain and Qatar (there appears to be a bit of a tiff)

  3. ChrisC

    michelle says:
    April 13, 2021 at 12:31 pm
    Does this mean i can buy jfk to mle or doha in qatar website but via the jetblue website ( and use those travel bank funds)?

    ******

    You can use either the QR website or the B6 one.

    If you have a particular instrument - voucher / credit / points etc - with one airline that you want to use then you need to book using that airlines website even if the flight is operated by the other.

  4. Stan P

    It is strange to me a move like that . QR going against Delta giving the fact that both of them are large stakeholders of LATAM.

  5. Bo

    Hahahaha
    Love the Harris/Ryan quote !

  6. D

    AC and UA have joint ventures with the LH group and I think also ANA and/or ANZ. Whether or not they can ever get one for US/Canada flights (might depend on slots for LCCs if those want any in Canada itself rather than nearby border airports?), they are gonna stay in *A, which they co-founded.

    A B6-DL merger definitely doesn't pass muster for competition at JFK, BOS, and probably some Northeast regional airports they serve.

    ...

    AC and UA have joint ventures with the LH group and I think also ANA and/or ANZ. Whether or not they can ever get one for US/Canada flights (might depend on slots for LCCs if those want any in Canada itself rather than nearby border airports?), they are gonna stay in *A, which they co-founded.

    A B6-DL merger definitely doesn't pass muster for competition at JFK, BOS, and probably some Northeast regional airports they serve.

    Some combination of B6-AA-AS in OneWorld at least can be perhaps cleaned up with various slots/routes divested to some combination of Delta, United, Southwest and Spirit.

  7. Leigh

    @Dominic Yeo

    Ahhh....think about your comments much?

    It would be hugely detrimental for AA to leave the alliance they founded. The alliance is smaller but better aligned that Skyteam or Star Alliance.

    And to think oneworld would encourage/embrace AA leaving them to open up the alliance to Air Canada to join? You're joking, right? Have you noticed the population difference between the US and Canada, the hugely smaller network, etc, etc.

    And as...

    @Dominic Yeo

    Ahhh....think about your comments much?

    It would be hugely detrimental for AA to leave the alliance they founded. The alliance is smaller but better aligned that Skyteam or Star Alliance.

    And to think oneworld would encourage/embrace AA leaving them to open up the alliance to Air Canada to join? You're joking, right? Have you noticed the population difference between the US and Canada, the hugely smaller network, etc, etc.

    And as Lucky points out, your statement about B6 could have been said about AS for the last many years.

  8. Mark

    I definitely could see AS and B6 merging. It would have little regulatory issues since there is very little route overlap, it would again be Alaska buying a more premium and all Airbus airline, but they have some experience with that now...

  9. Dominic Yeo

    B6 moving to oneworld?
    What in the world gives you that impression?

    JetBlue, like many boutique airlines, is all about diversification. B6's most overlooked partner, is Singapore Airlines. South African Airways is also a partner. Emirates has been skewing SkyTeam, thanks to partnerships with essential Asian SkyTeam members. So American and Qatar just adds to a diversified partner strategy.

    If anything, I think American Airlines should consider leaving oneworld, and pursue a similar strategy...

    B6 moving to oneworld?
    What in the world gives you that impression?

    JetBlue, like many boutique airlines, is all about diversification. B6's most overlooked partner, is Singapore Airlines. South African Airways is also a partner. Emirates has been skewing SkyTeam, thanks to partnerships with essential Asian SkyTeam members. So American and Qatar just adds to a diversified partner strategy.

    If anything, I think American Airlines should consider leaving oneworld, and pursue a similar strategy to China Southern Airlines. I fear American Airlines is lacking in alliance partners befitting of its large domestic size. Leaving oneworld kinda, a la China Southern, would allow AA to partner oneworld airlines, and target Star Alliance partners from the west coast, and and SkyTeam members in the east coast.

    AA exiting oneworld, would open up the potential for Air Canada to join oneworld instead of competing with United for marketshare.

    1. Ben

      @ Dominic Yeo -- "JetBlue, like many boutique airlines, is all about diversification. B6’s most overlooked partner, is Singapore Airlines. South African Airways is also a partner. Emirates has been skewing SkyTeam, thanks to partnerships with essential Asian SkyTeam members. So American and Qatar just adds to a diversified partner strategy."

      Couldn't the same be said about Alaska Airlines until it joined oneworld?

  10. Leigh

    You'd think at some point DL and UA will throw a hissy-fit with the DOT/DOJ about oneworld's expanding footprint in the USA.

    But it does seem to have passed all regulatory reviews so far, with give-ups of only limited slots at DCA and BOS.

    But AA/B6/AS/QR seem to be playing it brilliantly so far.

  11. Tim Dunn

    Steve-O
    I am making a guess that Emirates wasn't willing to pay B6 much for their relatively small portion of the journey. Even on a decent-priced ticket, B6' part is measured in hundreds of miles vs. the portion that QR or Emirates carries the passenger for which means a pretty low amount of the fare for B6. Most of the fares that B6/QR would get are going to be well below average for that...

    Steve-O
    I am making a guess that Emirates wasn't willing to pay B6 much for their relatively small portion of the journey. Even on a decent-priced ticket, B6' part is measured in hundreds of miles vs. the portion that QR or Emirates carries the passenger for which means a pretty low amount of the fare for B6. Most of the fares that B6/QR would get are going to be well below average for that market with a double connect involved. Desperate to rebuild its business, QR will pay the fare or else B6 is willing to discount and tightly limit availabililty

  12. RC

    90 day fiance reference was great! I thin Yolanda and her imaginary boyfriend with muscles might top stephanie though...She's just taking the D from any brotha she can. dont blame her. line them up!

    but back to airlines. very interesting to see Qatar develop the relationship with these 3 carriers> Makes you think something BIG is on the horizon.

  13. Radio

    I should clarify. When I wrote "most of its Florida assets" I meant JetBlue's assets, not the entire merged entity's.

  14. Radio

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I think it's more likely that JetBlue will ultimately merge with American (and spin off most of its Florida assets). I also think Alaska will ultimately merge with Hawaiian, forming a west-coast powerhouse that can effectively compete with Southwest and United. Oneworld is apparently more flexible when it comes to allowing out-of-alliance codeshares than the others, which works best for Hawaiian (and the alliance may carve out...

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I think it's more likely that JetBlue will ultimately merge with American (and spin off most of its Florida assets). I also think Alaska will ultimately merge with Hawaiian, forming a west-coast powerhouse that can effectively compete with Southwest and United. Oneworld is apparently more flexible when it comes to allowing out-of-alliance codeshares than the others, which works best for Hawaiian (and the alliance may carve out a special status for it). A combination of JetBlue with either Delta or United will create a dominant carrier in New York. And I don't see regulators going for that. A JetBlue/American merger will simply change the structure of the current partnership, and result in a three-way, largely fragmented marketplace.

  15. Steve-O

    Is it just me or does it appear like that jetBlue is moving away from the partnership with Emirates and embracing all of the oneworld carriers? AA, BA (especially with the upcoming LHR service) and now QR. Did Emirates upset someone at jetBlue? This looks like a middle finger to their previously loyal partner in Dubai.

  16. J

    Redemption rates for Jetblue points on Hawaiian Airlines are based on the revenue value of a paid ticket, so I would expect the same with Qatar.

  17. AJ

    The 90 Day Fiancé reference is classic. And yes, Stephanie is on a TOTALLY different level!! It took her less than 24 hours to switch it up. Who does that!? HA!

    Don't worry, she'll be added to the list with Colt and Larissa, Nicole and Azan, etc. soon.

  18. Mitch

    You heard it here first. Jetblue joins OW and then merges with Alaska.

  19. Radio

    In the immortal words of Captain Renault from the movie Casablanca, "I am shocked, shocked!" LOL

  20. michelle

    Does this mean i can buy jfk to mle or doha in qatar website but via the jetblue website ( and use those travel bank funds)?

Featured Comments Load all 21 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Howard Miller

If AA took over B6 they’d destroy...er USAirways...it. So, here’s hoping THAT nastiness *NEVER* happens! ;)

SullyofDoha

@Ben, Still no scheduled flights between Bahrain and Qatar (there appears to be a bit of a tiff)

ChrisC

michelle says: April 13, 2021 at 12:31 pm Does this mean i can buy jfk to mle or doha in qatar website but via the jetblue website ( and use those travel bank funds)? ****** You can use either the QR website or the B6 one. If you have a particular instrument - voucher / credit / points etc - with one airline that you want to use then you need to book using that airlines website even if the flight is operated by the other.

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