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American Airlines to appeal JetBlue ruling that may block NEA


An American Airlines plane takes off near a parked JetBlue plane on the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 16, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

American Airlines plans to appeal a court’s recent ruling that may block its partnership with JetBlue Airways within the Northeast, American CEO Robert Isom said Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin ruled earlier this month that the airlines’ partnership within the region is anticompetitive and ordered the airlines to finish the partnership in 30 days.

“We have a legal system that permits for appeal, and we’re going to try this,” Isom said during a Bernstein investor conference. “I feel the advantages that we proposed [in the alliance] will ultimately prevail.”

Within the wake of Sorokin’s ruling, Isom said the carrier is “going to need to work with the DOJ, work with JetBlue to search out out exactly what we do within the interim.”

JetBlue didn’t immediately comment Wednesday. American declined to comment further than the planned appeal. The Justice Department declined to comment.

The ruling was a win for President Joe Biden’s Justice Department, which, together with six states and the District of Columbia sued in 2021 to dam the partnership, alleging it could hurt competition and consumers. The Biden administration has taken a tough line against deals it views as anticompetitive.

The trial began a yr later in Boston and wrapped up late last yr.

“Regardless of the advantages to American and JetBlue of becoming more powerful — within the northeast generally or of their shared rivalry with Delta — such advantages arise from a unadorned agreement to not compete with each other,” Sorokin said in his ruling. 

The airlines argued that their partnership allows them to raised compete against Delta Air Lines and United Airlines within the Recent York area and Boston. The partnership, approved through the last days of the Trump administration, allows JetBlue and American to coordinate on routes and schedules and share revenue.

American Airlines CFO Devon May said at the identical conference on Wednesday that the corporate didn’t expect a fabric impact this yr as a result of the ruling.

American raised its outlook for the second quarter earlier on Wednesday, as a result of strong demand and lower fuel costs.

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