Arizona has joined a coalition of states and the U.S. Department of Justice suing American Airlines and JetBlue Airlines over what they describe as anti-competitive practices.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Tuesday that the lawsuit centers on the Northeast Alliance (NEA) agreement, which the two carriers enacted at the beginning of the year.
Under the agreement, the airlines coordinate routes and marketing efforts, link frequent flyer programs and share revenue from routes into or out of four major northeastern airports. They also pool their gates and takeoff and landing authorizations.
The lawsuit says the compact effectively merges two airlines at the four airports — Boston Logan International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport — and will lead to higher fares and less customer service in affected markets, and also discourages JetBlue from competing with American in other markets.
The states — which besides Arizona include California, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia — are asking the District Court of Massachusetts to halt the agreement.