Alaska Air Group and JetBlue Airways alter partnership dynamics

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International partnerships are key for the two hybrid low cost airlines Alaska Air Group and JetBlue Airways. Alaska has long leveraged its position in the US Pacific Northwest to build its partnerships and network breadth, while JetBlue uses its solid position in it focus cities including Boston, JFK and Orlando to attract partners to bolster its overall revenue.

During the course of the past couple of years, Alaska’s partnership composition has changed as Delta and Air France-KLM have cut ties with the company. With the launch of the new Delta-Korean JV, the future of Alaska’s relationship with Korean could be uncertain. 

JetBlue has a range of partners, including large network operators such as Japan Airlines and, more recently, an investment and codeshare relationship with the public charter operator JetSuiteX.

Neither Alaska nor JetBlue appears to be moving toward establishing JVs any time in the near future. Alaska is in the home stretch of its merger integration with Virgin America, and JetBlue has been a fierce critic of JVs, arguing that those partnerships engender uncompetitive levels of market concentration.  

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