Florida joins antitrust lawsuit to stop airline partnership from taking flight

Attorney General Ashley Moody says state joins effort to block American Airlines, JetBlue alliance
American Airlines and JetBlue flights at Tampa International Airport in 2016
Posted at 11:52 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 12:06:23-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida has joined an antitrust lawsuit seeking to prevent a partnership between two U.S. airlines from taking flight.

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Wednesday that Florida has joined the complaint to block American Airlines and JetBlue from forming its "Northeast Alliance."

The lawsuit asked a federal court in Boston to stop the partnership, saying it could result in higher fares for passengers.

It was initially filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and attorneys general from Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

"The airline industry is a highly-concentrated industry," Moody said in a statement. "The challenged alliance between American and JetBlue will only increase that concentration and hurt Floridians and Florida's interests. I am especially concerned with this alliance's likely effect on smaller, more regional airports in Florida where these two airlines are, at least in one instance, the only two airlines flying routes. Because of these concerns, Florida has joined this bipartisan effort to ensure competition and lower prices for Floridians and those traveling to Florida to enjoy our great state."

Ashley Moody in June 2020
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody speaks during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump and law enforcement officials, Monday, June 8, 2020, at the White House in Washington.

The alliance seeks to combine operations in the northeast between four major airports: Boston Logan International Airport, New York's John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.

According to the complaint, the alliance would result in higher fares and reduced choice, causing millions of dollars in harm to passengers traveling to and from Florida.

American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, Texas, and JetBlue, based in New York, both operate out of South Florida's three major airports. Miami International Airport is also an American Airlines hub.