JetBlue open to deepening ties with American

Washington DC
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Oneworld carrier American and low cost carrier JetBlue are already in talks to further expand an interline agreement the airlines unveiled earlier today, and are not discounting JetBlue's potential membership in the Oneworld alliance. .

The interline agreement covers 18 JetBlue routes from New York JFK and Boston and 12 of American's international destinations from those two airports.

During a press conference to discuss both the JetBlue tie-up and expansion by American from both JFK and LaGuardia, American CEO Gerard Arpey said the two carriers were exploring further cooperation, including frequent flyer programme reciprocation.

Asked if the new agreement with American is a precursor for JetBlue joining the OneWorld alliance, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger said the carriers are open to a path forward as American and JetBlue continue to look at their collaboration and partnership.

Offering his assessment of JetBlue's potential membership in Oneworld, American's Arpey says: "We'll see where this leads."

Star Alliance anchor carrier Lufthansa took a 19% stake in JetBlue two years ago, and in November 2009 the two carriers launched the first phase of their codeshare.