I’m trying to think if there’s a codeshare that’s been as widely anticipated as that between Lufthansa and JetBlue. It seems like this thing has been in the works forever, but now they’re finally getting the partnership up and running. Bookings should begin in October.
It was all the way back in December 2007 when Lufthansa announced it would buy a 19% stake in JetBlue. At the time, there was no cooperation announced, but most people felt it was inevitable. Eventually, it became obvious that it would happen. On a JetBlue flight earlier this year, I even saw this ad (at left) on my seatback TV. But it took until now for the codeshare to actually be announced.
Neither United nor US Airways have much of an operation at JFK, so this provides Lufthansa with a strong partner and a solid product to feed its flights. It just makes sense.
When Lufthansa purchased its stake, I said “Enjoy your bitch-slap, United. Oh sure, that young little hussy JetBlue can’t replace you . . . yet, but Lufthansa is clearly not as faithful to you as you might have hoped. Maybe you shouldn’t have let yourself get so out of shape over the years.” As I said a the end of the article, I didn’t actually think JetBlue would replace United as Lufthansa’s main partner, and I still feel the same way. If it were true, Lufthansa wouldn’t have bothered will all the time and effort to get the Atlantic Plus Plus alliance going with Continental, Air Canada, United, etc.
But this is the next natural step for Lufthansa, since they own a piece of the airline. The codeshare will begin connecting only 12 JetBlue destinations through Boston and New York/JFK into the Lufthansa network. Those cities are Austin, Buffalo, Ft Lauderdale, Ft Myers, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester, San Juan, Syracuse, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. You’ll notice that none of these are particularly strong destinations for United, so it makes a lot of sense. Besides, those Germans love Florida.
You’ll be able to book a ticket between those cities and much of the Lufthansa network. This is a big step for JetBlue. The airline’s first attempt at a codeshare was not exactly a full-blown arrangement. You can buy a ticket on the Aer Lingus website to travel from Ireland to the US connecting on a JetBlue flight, but that’s it.
This Lufthansa deal will allow for booking on either airline’s code via airline websites or via travel agents. It’s a full codeshare agreement, and it’s probably the first of many more to come for the Blue Crew.