JetBlue and Norwegian Air have announced a partnership that will link the U.S. and Caribbean network of JetBlue with Norwegian's transatlantic and European networks, offering travelers more service options.
“This new agreement ... seamlessly connects JetBlue’s robust network throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with ... exciting European destinations,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue chief executive, in the statement.
Both carriers signed a letter of intent to interline on Thursday, and though the deal is still pending, connecting itineraries between the carriers are expected to be available for purchase on the airlines’ websites and via the GDSs by early next year.
The agreement will connect the U.S. and Caribbean networks of JetBlue with Norwegian's transatlantic and European networks via JetBlue's three largest hub cities: New York, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale. Currently, Norwegian operates 20 nonstop routes to Europe from those three cities.
"JetBlue is the largest airline at several of our key gateways in the U.S. — specifically New York’s JFK, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale — and this partnership will create a plethora of new route connections for customers on both sides of the Atlantic," Geir Karlsen, Norwegian's chief financial officer and acting CEO, said in a statement. "The partnership will provide travelers throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with more affordable fares to Europe and vice versa."
In addition to linking their networks to provide more convenient travel options, connecting customers will also be able to check baggage through to their final destinations.
The partnership with Norwegian will provide JetBlue with a larger presence in Europe. JetBlue is already preparing to launch its first transatlantic route flying to London from Boston and New York in 2021, and plans to add other European destinations in 2023.
Likewise, Norwegian, which had been forced to cancel some of its routes to the Caribbean and Latin America, citing financial difficulties, will be able to benefit from JetBlue's regional network. Norwegian says the partnership will connect more than 60 U.S. and nearly 40 Caribbean and Latin American destinations to its network.