JetBlue and American Airlines have announced a new codeshare and loyalty partnership, promising travelers better access to both airlines’ network of domestic US and international flights. As airlines grapple with the fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic, it’s hoped that this alliance will soften the blow, and the move will greatly expand options for fliers in the northeastern United States.

As part of the launch, American Airlines announced new and expanded routes from New York JFK to Tel Aviv, Athens and Rio de Janeiro. JetBlue, a low-cost airline, says it will expand on both coasts of the US, including at LaGuardia, Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Pairing JetBlue’s domestic network with American’s international route map creates a new competitive choice in the Northeast, where customers are longing for an alternative to the dominant network carriers,” JetBlue’s president Joanna Geraghty said in a statement. “This partnership with American is the next step in our plan to accelerate our coronavirus recovery, get our crewmembers and our aircraft flying again, and fuel JetBlue’s growth into the future.”

Thanks to codeshare flights, customers will now be able to book flights through either airline on a single itinerary, meaning more flight options and better connections, and loyalty members will receive benefits from reservations on both airlines. JetBlue will gain more than 60 new routes operated by American, and American will add 130 routes run by JetBlue.

The partnership will allow American Airlines to expand internationally while JetBlue takes over more of the market within the US. However, JetBlue is still planning to launch transatlantic flights to London from Boston and New York next year. The new nonstop service to Tel Aviv and Athens will be American’s first long-haul international flights from New York in more than four years.

The partnership is still subject to government review before being fully implemented.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

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