Delta Airlines Launching New Flights That Prove American-JetBlue Partnership Increases Competition

Delta has just announced new flights from Boston to Tel Aviv and Athens. (HT: One Mile at a Time)

  • Boston – Athens will start May 27, 2022 with a three-times weekly Airbus A330-300
  • Boston – Tel Aviv will start May 26, 2022 with a three-times weekly AIrbus A330-900neo

These were two of the first three destinations that American Airlines announced they’d add with their new JetBlue Northeast alliance. American hadn’t added widebody service from New York in years. They had a substantial presence in the city, but not big enough to compete successfully for corporate contracts. But together with JetBlue they felt they could. They also announced New York service to Rio and to Delhi.

The American Airlines-JetBlue codeshares cover New York and Boston. American’s new New York – Tel Aviv and Athens routes are both served by Delta. Now Delta is retaliating against that new service by adding the same destinations from Boston.

Is Delta doing anything here other than proving that the American Airlines-JetBlue partnership spurs competition in the Northeast?

The case for this in New York was obvious, where JetBlue and American were the number three and four airlines and couldn’t grow at JFK or LaGuardia airports because of slot controls. The case was somewhat weaker for Boston, since while gate space may come at a premium that airport is more open. But Delta has just disproven the Justice Department’s case against the Northeast Alliance. The federal government is currently suing to undo the deal that it approved just months earlier.

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  1. Spite and malice trumps supply and demand in the airline space. This recent move by DL (BOS-TLV and BOS-ATH) does not prove that the AA/B6 tie-up spurs competition. Rather, it proves that incumbent carriers will move Heaven and Earth to quash any competitive threat.

  2. @scott mcmurren – they’re responding vigorously with more seats, that is literally what more competition means no matter what the ‘motivation’

  3. Well…no. Delta will complete anywhere and needs no help. AA weakness in NYC is of their own making and adding JetBlue, an o&d point to point airline will not help.

  4. The motivation for Delta is not about ATH or TLV because neither AA or B6 was going to operate to those cities from BOS.
    Delta committed to building BOS as a hub and is taking advantage of opportunities to not just build its presence in the local BOS market to Asia but also to push more connections over BOS.
    Over the past few months, JetBlue has reduced the size of its operation in Boston in order to build up NYC alongside AA. For the next couple months at least, DL is operating more flights from BOS than B6 although B6 still has more seats and produces more ASMs – but the gap between the two has never been smaller.
    Delta is taking advantage of B6′ focus on NYC to build BOS. Given that the DOJ could win in its efforts to limit AA and B6’s ability to compete in domestic markets, B6 might be allowing DL to build its presence to Europe.
    I believe there are some domestic markets that DL is adding as well.

  5. So funny, AA is the most anti-competitive airline in the business. Anyone recall a startup called Legend.

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