JetBlue has announced its decision not to appeal the federal court ruling of May 2023 that declared its partnership with American Airlines was anticompetitive.
Since 2020, JetBlue and American Airlines has been cooperating in certain markets in the northeastern United States, in what the two airlines claimed was an attempt to challenge Delta and United’s strong position in this region. This formal partnership goes by the name of Northeast Alliance (NEA).
Although the Department of Transport (DOT) had previously approved this deal, the Department of Justic (DOJ) launched an antitrust lawsuit soon after.
It is believed that JetBlue’s decision not to challenge the ruling has been taken in light of another antitrust case that the airline has currently open: its acquisition of Spirit Airlines.
This $3.8 billion deal would create the fifth largest airline group in the US. However, it remains blocked after the Department of Justice sued on the grounds that the absorption of Spirit Airlines by JetBlue may harm competition and, by driving up prices, harm customers too.
In any case, American Airlines, the other party in the Northeast Alliance, has announced that it will appeal the recent court ruling.