IATA: JetBlue lays seeds for deeper partnerships

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JetBlue Airways is focusing its efforts to “furthering and deepening” its existing partnerships, says chief executive Dave Barger.

Speaking on the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting in Doha, he says that the conference is the “most efficient utilisation of time” to meet all of the New York-based carrier’s 32 partners.

JetBlue and Air China notably announced plans to codeshare at the IATA annual meeting in Beijing in 2012, and the airline has announced new codeshares with Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines in recent months.

No new partnership announcements are planned for Doha, says Barger. Instead the focus is on building on its existing agreements, such as the recent new flights on Emirates and Turkish to its hub at Boston Logan International airport.

“We lay seeds of good ideas,” he says on the conversations he has at IATA.

One airline JetBlue has not talked to – either at IATA or elsewhere – is Azul.

“To my knowledge, we have not had a discussion,” says Barger. He adds that JetBlue already partners with TAM, which provides its passengers connections to Brazil.

A potential tie-up between the two carriers has been rumoured since Azul announced plans to launch new flights from Sao Paulo’s Campinas-Viracopos International airport to Florida and New York in early 2015.

Azul and JetBlue were both founded by David Neeleman.