JetBlue to drop American Airlines partnership after losing DOJ case, will focus on Spirit

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Los Angeles, CaliforniaJan. 11, 2023Flights prepare to take off at LAX on Jan. 11, 2023 after an FAA computer problem.
Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

JetBlue AirwaysAmerican Airlines

New York-based JetBlue is in the process of trying to acquire budget carrier Spirit Airlines

“Despite our deep conviction in the procompetitive benefits of the NEA, after much consideration, JetBlue has made the difficult decision not to appeal the court’s determination that the NEA cannot continue as currently crafted,” JetBlue said in a statement.

It said it has started terminating the agreement, “a wind down process that will take place over the coming months.”

JetBlue said it will “now turn even more focus to our proposed combination with Spirit.”

JetBlue’s deal to buy Spirit came together after JetBlue and American launched a partnership in the Northeast. The so-called Northeast Alliance, approved during the last days of the Trump administration, allows the two carriers to share passengers and revenue and to coordinate schedules.

But a federal judge ruled in May that that partnership was anticompetitive, ordering the two airlines to undo the alliance.

American Airlines didn’t immediately return request for comment Wednesday.

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