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American-JetBlue Alliance to Cost Consumers $700 Million, US Says

  • DOJ, states open antitrust trial challenging airline alliance
  • Airlines say partnership increased capacity, access to routes
An American Airlines aircraft, left, and two JetBlue aircraft, right, taxi on a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

An American Airlines aircraft, left, and two JetBlue aircraft, right, taxi on a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg 

A partnership between JetBlue Airways Corp. and American Airlines Group Inc. could cost passengers more than $700 million annually in higher fares, the US Justice Department said Tuesday in an antitrust trial challenging the carriers’ Northeast Alliance.

The alliance, which allows the companies to share routes, bookings and passengers in the US Northeast, ends the rivalry in Boston and New York between American, the country’s largest carrier, and JetBlue, allowing the two to act “like a single airline at the expense of travelers,” the government argued.