The Department of Justice will file a lawsuit to challenge the recent alliance made by the major air travel corporations JetBlue and American Airlines, claiming that the agreement violates antitrust laws, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The airlines announced the partnership in July of last year, which they said would help them compete in the Northeast, specifically in New York and Boston. The agreement began being implemented earlier this year, under some restrictions that were agreed upon with the Department of Transportation during the final days of the Trump administration. However, the Journal’s sources report that the Justice Department remains concerned that the restrictions may not be enough to ensure competition.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes told the newspaper, "I don’t believe DOJ has a case they can credibly bring against JetBlue, when all we’re trying to do is bring low fares and choice. If the DOJ sues us we will certainly be contesting that in court."
He added that U.S. officials "have for years represented to us that they wanted to see more growth from low-cost competition from airlines like JetBlue. This is getting us through the glass ceiling of competition."
In a statement from American, the airline defended their partnership as "providing more choices and better service for customers with more code sharing, new international and domestic routes, better schedules and expanded frequent-flier-program benefits. It’s also provoking a competitive response from other carriers in the region by compelling them to step up their own products and services — delivering clear wins for consumers."
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