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.