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US Lawsuit Challenges Alliance of 2 Airlines for Stifling Competition

© REUTERS / Kamil KrzaczynskiA United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER plane is towed as an American Airlines Boeing 737 plane departs from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Nov. 30, 2018.
A United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER  plane is towed as an American Airlines Boeing 737 plane departs from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Nov. 30, 2018.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration and six US states filed a lawsuit to prevent American Airlines and Jet Blue from consolidating operations in New York City and Boston, the Justice Department said.
“The civil antitrust complaint alleges that this extensive combination, which they call the “Northeast Alliance,” will not only eliminate important competition in these cities, but will also harm air travelers across the country by significantly diminishing JetBlue’s incentive to compete with American elsewhere,” the Justice Department said in a press release on Tuesday.
The Northeast Alliance combines American’s and JetBlue’s operations at four major airports: Boston Logan, New York John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia and Newark Liberty, the release said.
“In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ ‘alliance’ with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented maneuver,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the release. “It would result in higher fares, fewer choices, and lower quality service if allowed to continue.”
The airlines have committed to coordinate on all aspects of network planning, including which routes to fly, when to fly them, who will fly them and what size planes to use for each flight, according to the release.
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