American Airlines Sought JetBlue Alliance For Economic Survival During COVID-19: Report

  • American Airlines Group Inc AAL pursued an alliance with JetBlue Airways Corp JBLU in order to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic uncertainty.
  • The airline needed the collaboration to stay competitive in the heavily trafficked U.S. Northeast.
  • American Airlines CEO Robert Isom testified in a Boston federal court on Monday, saying, "Our business was hemorrhaging cash" in the spring of 2020, Bloomberg reported.
  • The company was losing more than $100 million a day as COVID-19 shut down air travel and had instructed the executives to explore alliance options with JetBlue and Alaska Air Group Inc ALK.
  • The Justice Department sued American and JetBlue in 2021, terming the alliance as a "merger" that led to an increase in fares with reduced choice for passengers.
  • The partnership, called the Northeast Alliance, allowed the two airlines to share bookings, routes, and passengers, especially in Boston and New York.
  • The move sparked a frenzy as rival carriers, including Southwest Airlines Co LUV and Spirit Airlines Inc SAVE, accused American Airlines gained outsized control of New York flights through the alliance.
  • Price Action: AAL shares are trading higher by 3.02% at $12.28 in premarket on the last check Tuesday.
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