Last week I wrote about the announcement that American and El Al will be discontinuing their partnership as of November 1, 2014. It wasn’t a huge partnership to begin with, so in a way I was surprised they discontinued it, since it was valuable to some AAdvantage members and seemed to have limited downside.
I’d speculate American decided to discontinue it, given their merger with US Airways, which flies nonstop between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv. Furthermore, there are rumors of American launching additional service to Tel Aviv soon, in which case it makes perfect sense that they wouldn’t want to provide more feed onto El Al flights without a joint venture.
El Al’s new first class (yes, you read that right)
It looks like El Al didn’t take very long to get over that relationship, as El Al and JetBlue have announced a codeshare agreement, less than a week later.
Subject to government approval, EL AL plans to place its “LY” code on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York (JFK/Newark), expanding options throughout the United States for EL AL customers.
EL AL currently offers up to 22 weekly nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK/Newark) which easily tap into JetBlue’s growing network. With one stop in New York (JFK/Newark), customers may connect between Israel and 35 JetBlue destinations including Boston, Chicago/O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Houston/Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, San Juan, Washington/Dulles and West Palm Beach. JetBlue currently serves 86 cities across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.
It’s interesting to note that:
- El Al and JetBlue have had an interline agreement since 2010, so their partnership as such isn’t totally new
- While El Al and JetBlue are clearly stating their intentions for an interline agreement, interestingly there’s no mention of a reciprocal frequent flyer program agreement, so I wouldn’t necessarily assume that’s forthcoming — I think this might just be limited to El Al codesharing on some JetBlue flights
From the perspective of El Al, it’s tough to beat the domestic connections that JetBlue provides, so this is a smart partnership, in my opinion. I’m curious to see if it expands, or if it’s limited to codeshares on flights to/from New York and Newark.