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Alaska Air & JetBlue exploit network opportunities as they shrink

Premium Analysis

Although bolstering liquidity and whittling away cash burn remain the top priorities for US airlines as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, some airlines are using the crisis to make puts and takes in their networks to bolster their competitive positions when demand ultimately bounces back. 

Alaska and JetBlue are examining their networks and have opted to make some changes as a result of the pandemic.

Both airlines are developing deep partnerships with American Airlines, and both are opting to build out Los Angeles – a historically fragmented and extremely competitive market. JetBlue’s ambitions in Los Angeles are more robust than Alaska’s, which could result in price skirmishes in an already depressed pricing environment. 

Still, even with the tactical changes taking place, both Alaska and JetBlue plan to rightsize significantly as spikes in US COVID-19 cases continue to cloud what was already a highly uncertain recovery in demand. 

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