American JetBlue Seeks Dismissal Of Partnership Antitrust Lawsuit

JetBlue Airways Corp. at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Stephanie Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Monday, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways asked a US judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and six states over a carrier partnership in the Northeast.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Massachusetts in September, alleges that the so-called Northeast Airline Partnership violates antitrust laws, reduces regional competition and could raise airfares and lower quality of service.

The partnership allows American and JetBlue to sell air tickets to and from the northeastern United States, including the typically congested airports in Boston and the New York area. The airlines argued that the Trump administration-approved partnership would enable them to better compete with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines in the region.

American and JetBlue said Monday that the Justice Department and other plaintiffs had failed to prove the alliance damaged competition or raised fares, and as a result, the suit should be dropped.

“The NEA has been running for nine months, but the plaintiffs do not claim that this led to a one-time increase in price, any decrease in quality or the slightest decrease in production,” the airline wrote.

The Justice Ministry declined to comment.

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