JetBlue Airways and Lufthansa today asked the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve a codesharing agreement initially covering flights from New York and Boston.

Origins of the codeshare date back to late 2007 when Lufthansa decided to take a 19% stake in JetBlue.

Now the carriers say they intend to launch the codesharing flights on 8 October, and are requesting that DOT waiver its requirement of airlines supplying 45 days advance notice prior to a codeshare commencing.

JetBlue currently has a manual block-space codeshare with US regional Cape Air covering flights from Boston to the Cape Cod region in Massachusetts and Rutland, Vermont. It also has a codeshare-like arrangement with Aer Lingus for flights from JFK and Boston. The two carriers transfer bags to one another's flights, and passengers use the Aer Lingus website to book combination itineraries.

JetBlue has sought approval to place Lufthansa's code on its flights from Boston to Tampa, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Buffalo, New York.

From New York JFK JetBlue plans to place the Lufthansa code on service to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida; Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester New York; New Orleans, Louisiana; Austin, Texas; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; San Juan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The replacement of JetBlue's current reservations system currently supplied by Navitaire to a Sabre platform guarantees that JetBlue will have the functionality to sell Lufthansa tickets on its website. In February JetBlue said it selected Sabre to power its reservation, departure control, inventory and booking engine functions beginning in 2010.

A JetBlue spokesman explains Lufthansa plans to handle all sales and reservations management through its system until the SabreSonic platform is functional at the low-cost carrier.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news